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Physicists Propose Hunting for Signs of Dark Matter in Ancient Minerals



Physicists typically build large, complex experiments to hunt for dark matter particles coming from outer space, but what are they? One group of physicists proposes to hunt for signs of it in ancient minerals, such as olivine or gypsum, that formed in the Earth's mantle or in seawater.

Experiment suggest that five-sixths of the universe's mass is dark matter, mysterious stuff that acts like scaffolding for galaxies but which can only be viewed via the gravity it exerts. Searches around the world have turned up empty-handed, with one much-contested exception. Now, scientists are preparing for hunt for signatures of dark matter particles in the Earth itself.

built facilities. Katherine Freese, a theoretical astrophysicist and a professor at the University of Michigan, told Gizmodo, "We're not going to build anything."

The light of the sky is in the background. Dark matter detectors on the same principle: If there's a dark matter detector, then we should just build it. Detector materials include liquid xenon, sodium crystals, and ultra-cold germanium.

They have found a number of properties that do not have dark matter does have.

Ancient minerals present a new opportunity to expand the search using billion-year-old paleo-detectors-like like olivine, a greenish mineral formed from crystallized magma, and gypsum, a soft mineral that forms from evaporated water- that might retain evidence of passing with dark matter particles. 500 nanometer long damage tracks that could be detectable in the rock after a billion years or longer, according to the published in Physical

The newest paper builds on 35-year-old work from physicists like Buford Price, whose team looks for theorized single-pole magnets in 460-million-year-old mica, as well as more recent passive detector attempts. Freese and the new paper's authors hope that new technology will make their strategy more successful.

Better resolution is important because the rocks could not record more than just dark matter tracks-they may be store etchings from radioactive uranium stored in the material. The researchers need to know how much they are. They are also hoping to analyze rocks in the Earth's mantle where they are lower, or to look at rocks containing high levels of hydrogen, which would reduce tracks produced by neutrons.

This research is done using the tools of a propose, according to the paper. Beyond the dark and the dark blue sky, the dark blue sky, the dark blue sky, the dark blue sky, the dark blue sky, the dark blue sky called neutrinos, Freese told Gizmodo.

Is the Earth hiding the secrets of dark matter etched into its very existence ancient minerals? It supposes it's easier than sticking a vat of liquid xenon deep underground.


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