Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

One step closer to dark matter in universe

31.10.2011
Scientists all over the world are working feverishly to find the dark matter in the universe. Now researchers at Stockholm University have taken one step closer to solving the enigma with a new method.

The universe is still a mystery. We know what about 5 percent of the universe consists of. The rest is simply unknown. Researchers have gotten as far as knowing that a major portion, about 23 percent of the universe consists of a new kind of matter. No one has seen this matter, and no one knows what it consists of. The remaining roughly 72 percent of the universe is made up of something even more enigmatic, called dark energy.

Jan Conrad and Maja Llena Garde are scientists at Fysikum, Stockholm University and the Oskar Klein Center for Cosmoparticle Physics, and they are part of the international research team that has taken a giant step toward finding dark matter with the help of a new method.

“With our new method, for the first time we have been able to exclude models regarded by many as the most natural ones. Previous attempts did not achieve the same sensitivity. What’s more, our results are especially reliable,” says Jan Conrad.

“We can’t see dark matter because it doesn’t interact with the matter we know about. Nor does it emit any light. It’s virtually invisible. But we can determine that it affects the matter we’re familiar with.”

“We see how the rotation of galaxies is affect by something that weighs a lot but is invisible. We also see how the gas in galaxy clusters doesn’t move as it would if there were only visible matter present. So we know it’s there. The question is simply what it is. Many theoretical models have been developed to predict particles that meet the requirements for being identified as dark matter. But experiments are needed if we are to determine whether any of these models are correct,” says Jan Conrad.

Since dark matter is invisible, we can only see traces of it, and one way to do this is to look at light with extremely high energy, so-called gamma radiation. With the help of the satellite-borne Fermi Large Area Telescope, scientists can study gamma radiation and look for traces of dark matter.

“We’ve looked at gamma radiation from dwarf galaxies. These galaxies are small and dim, but extremely massive, so they seem to consist largely of dark matter. Unfortunately we still haven’t detected a gamma signal from the dark matter in these objects, but we are definitely getting closer. Our new method involves looking at several dwarf galaxies at the same time and combining the observations in a new way, which yields excellent results. This is an exciting time for dark matter research, because we’re getting closer and closer,” says Maja Llena Garde.

“This is truly a giant step forward in our pursuit of dark matter,” says the director of the Oskar Klein Center, Lars Bergström. “With my colleague Joakim Edsjö, I’ve studied these processes theoretically for more than ten years, but this is the first time important experimental breakthroughs are being seen. Now we just hope that Jan, Maja, and the Fermi team will continue this exciting quest using their new method.”

The research team’s findings are being published in the journal Physical Review Letters under the title “Constraining dark matter models from a combined analysis of Milky Way satellites with the Fermi Large Area Telescope.”

Further information:
Maja Llena Garde, doctoral candidate, Fysikum, Stockholm University, e-mail: mgarde@fysik.su.se, phone: +46-8-5537 8731

Jan Conrad, associate professor, Fysikum, Stockholm University, e-mail: conrad@fysik.su.se, phone: +46-8-55378769

Linnea Bergnéhr | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Statistical inference to mimic the operating manner of highly-experienced crystallographer
18.09.2019 | Japan Science and Technology Agency

nachricht Scientists create fully electronic 2-dimensional spin transistors
18.09.2019 | University of Groningen

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

Im Focus: The working of a molecular string phone

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

Im Focus: Milestones on the Way to the Nuclear Clock

Two research teams have succeeded simultaneously in measuring the long-sought Thorium nuclear transition, which enables extremely precise nuclear clocks. TU Wien (Vienna) is part of both teams.

If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

AI for Laser Technology Conference: optimizing the use of lasers with artificial intelligence

29.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stroke patients relearning how to walk with peculiar shoe

18.09.2019 | Innovative Products

Statistical inference to mimic the operating manner of highly-experienced crystallographer

18.09.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists' design discovery doubles conductivity of indium oxide transparent coatings

18.09.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>