General, Research, Technology

Physicists have invented a way to detect dark matter

Our Universe is shaped by something that you and I are notwe can directly observe. This mysterious substance, called dark matter, fills 85% of the universe and is responsible for its structure and the arrangement of galaxies and stars. Since dark matter does not interact with light, but has weight, it can only be measured indirectly - dark matter bends the light of stars due to the gravitational effect, just as glass refracts light. Is it any wonder that this mysterious substance has puzzled scientists for decades. But science does not stand still, and the latest research in the field of quantum technologies may turn out to be a vital link in unraveling the mystery of dark matter. Recently, a collaboration of US researchers has developed new devices using quantum computing bits that can detect weak signals from any of the subatomic particles. The new method, physicists believe, will search for evidence of the existence of dark matter 1000 times faster than ever.

Physicists have developed a technique for the definitive detection of dark matter

Amazing discoveries

While the rovers fly across the Red Planet, the worldphysicists are literally rocking scientific discoveries. Recently, researchers at Fermilab reported a discovery that contradicts the Standard Model, a theoretical construct that describes the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions of all elementary particles. According to the results obtained, muons - they were found in cosmic rays - deflect when passing through a magnetic field, which contradicts theory and may be a sign of the existence of a force of nature unknown to science.

At the same time, scientists fromThe Budapest-Marseille-Wuppertal Collaboration has applied a new method for calculating the interaction of muons with magnetic fields. Their results, oddly enough, confirmed the inviolability of the Standard Model and if they turn out to be correct, then there is no discrepancy between theory and experiment, which means there is no new force of nature.

It is important to note that the studies described above -far from the only ones in this area. So, earlier results obtained at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN also indicate the possible existence of new physics, and Danish scientists recently questioned the existence of dark energy - a force that is believed to be responsible for the expansion of the Universe.

Experiments at CERN at the Large Hadron Collider also indicate (if correct) that there is a "new physics".

Today physicists themselves cannot say anything.certain (especially about the collapse of the Standard Model), since all the results obtained will need to be double-checked. This process, according to scientists, can take a year or a year and a half. As the physicist Andrei Golutvin, who works at the Large Hadron Collider, said in an interview with Tass.Nauka, “during this time the existence of the“ new physics ”will either be confirmed or refuted”.

In the meantime, scientists are working to verifyresults, physicists from the University of Chicago seem to have groped for a clue to the mystery of dark matter, which - and this is the most interesting - is associated with the results obtained at Fermilab.

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How to detect dark matter?

Direct detection of dark matter particleseluded scientists for decades, but not because of a lack of effort. Experiments on Earth were aimed at searching for a strange substance with the help of the LHC, but space seems to be conducting its own experiments - astronomers (provided they know where to look) can already detect the signature of dark matter today. This can be done using unusual X-rays from galaxies (when dark matter particles decay), strange flashes of light or X-rays near neutron stars (when dark matter particles turn into photons in their powerful magnetic fields). But there is also another way.

It was recently demonstrated by the teamresearchers from the University of Chicago and the US Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, having developed new devices capable of detecting weak signals from any of the subatomic particles - "axion" and "hidden photon" - they were thought to interact with photons or light particles in the visible everyday universe ...

The new method will allow scientists to search for evidence of the existence of dark matter 1,000 times faster than ever.

You will be wondering: Can gravitational waves solve the crisis of cosmology?

The theoretical existence of axions wasproposed more than 30 years ago, but it was not possible to detect them experimentally. The new technology, according to scientists, is capable of radically advancing scientific research in the study of dark matter. Read the text of the study published in the journal Physical Review Letters here.

“We know that there is a hugethe amount of mass that is not made of the same material as you and me, ”said Aaron Chow, a physicist at Fermilab and co-author of the new study, in an interview with New Atlas. "The nature of dark matter is truly an insurmountable mystery that many of us are trying to unravel."

Qubits and dark matter

It should be noted that in the last decadescientists have improved their ability to harness the properties of quantum mechanics that govern the strange behavior of particles on the smallest scales of the universe. Advances in this area have led to the creation of technology such as the "qubit" or bit of quantum computing. Qubits are inexpressibly sensitive to the slightest disturbance in the environment. And this (as you might have guessed) is exactly what physicists need to detect dark matter.

The qubit (small rectangle) is seton a sapphire base that sits on the tip of your finger. Scientists have used a qubit like this to develop a technique that will accelerate the search for axionic dark matter and hidden photons.

See also: If gravity is not a force, how does it "attract" objects?

New technique uses qubits to detectphotons generated when dark matter particles act on an electromagnetic field. A special device, the so-called superconducting resonator, offers a way to create and store a signal photon: as soon as the photon is there, a qubit is inserted into the cavity and collects data about it. This method is most likely to help detect dark matter, since any invisible particlethat converts to photons can be seen. So you and I will have to wait again, but only this time in anticipation.