A new type of dark matter, which behaves like invisible waves bouncing around galaxies, including our own Milky Way, can be detected using an advanced gravitational wave detector.
A group of scientists from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom argue that a new class of dark matter can be discovered by Gravitational Wave Analysis. To this end, researchers are already using a powerful and advanced detector that incorporates a laser interferometer. The study was recently published in the journal Nature.
according to press release, traditionally it was believed that dark matter, which, although not yet observed, is known to make up about 85% of all matter in the universe, but is made up of heavy elementary particles. However, since it has not yet been discovered, scientists are gradually expanding their concepts and considering other alternatives.
One possibility that would pose A new kind of dark matter, exists in a concept called scalar field. According to this hypothesis, dark matter will consist of invisible waves bouncing around galaxies, including, of course, the Milky Way. British scientists believe that gravitational waves could reveal such dark matter.
To achieve this goal, they use a file GEO 600 . detector, developed by the United Kingdom and Germany. It is a highly sensitive laser interferometer, which has been used to produce much of the technology needed to detect gravitational waves. Now, it is being used for the first time to try and solve the mystery of dark matter.
the overlap It is a measurement method that applies the phenomenon of wave interference, whether it is light, radio, sound or gravitational waves. How it works? Two rays of light, or more generally one ray split into two, form an interference pattern where the two rays overlap.
Since the wavelength of the visible beam is very short, slight changes in the differences of the optical paths, that is, the distance traveled between the two beams, can be detected when they occur. Noticeable differences in interference pattern. Because of these properties, optical interferometry has been turned into a measurement technique of enormous value for more than a hundred years: in addition, its accuracy has recently been significantly improved with the use of lasers.
inside laser interferometerTwo beams of light bounce between the mirrors before they meet at the detector. Thanks to this, the scientists can measure with absolute accuracy the asynchrony between the two rays of light, which serves as an indicator of any disturbance the rays find. This way they can detect gravitational waves, and perhaps now dark matter as well.
Related topic: Dark matter traps the Milky Way.
The end of the mystery about dark matter?
As the scientists explained, the vibrations of the mirrors are put into instruments such as the GEO600 . detector It would disturb the light rays in a certain way, which would be characteristic of the new class of dark matter and which would make a difference in terms of identifying gravitational waves. The researchers believe they will be able to detect it using this technique, based on the precise properties of this type of dark matter known as a standard field.
Although the detectors were originally created to search for gravitational waves, specialists argue that they can be very useful for finally detecting dark matter. The gravitational effect of this type of matter on objects throughout the universe is obvious, so scientists are convinced of its existence. For example, this invisible substance It could explain the rotation and formation of galaxies, among other important aspects.
Direct boundary of standard field dark matter from a gravitational wave detector. Vermeulen, SM, Relton, B, Grote, H et al. Nature (2021). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04031-y
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