The universe, it is the enchanted space with mesmerizing spirits. No one goes through Hubble telescope and doesn’t get hypnotized by the beauty of those sceneries: planets pilgrimage around large stars in consistency, the Pillars of Creation nebula which gives eternity to dead stars, moons following planets as young ducklings and galaxies swimming in a vast ocean of bright stars. The universe is overwhelming; despite how vast it is, it still continues to expand.
However, all those beautiful celestial bodies make up only 25% of space. As a result, scientists began to focus on discovering that mysterious thing that preoccupies space, Dark Matter.
Dark Matter is the thing that confuses scientist nowadays and provokes their curiosity. It’s the dark spaces you see in Hubble telescope pictures that fill almost every gap between celestial bodies. Although it’s very abundant –it makes up almost 85% of our universe- it’s not an easy task to discover it. Scientists haven’t yet categorized dark matter, as they still don’t really know its constituent.
Fortunately, a scientist at MIT (Massachusetts institute for technology) got a plan which is: (ABRACADABRA). Well, MIT isn’t a university for wizardry and witchcraft, although this could be related to a “Defense against Dark Magic” class. Back to reality as we’re not in Hogwarts and Dark Matter is not Voldemort’s alley; it’s believed that (ABRACADABRA) might be the foyer to the perplexed world of dark matter.
“A Broadband/Resonant Approach to Cosmic Axion Detection with an Amplifying B-field Ring Apparatus”. The experiment is believed to detect Axions which are the hypothetical elementary particles that exist among lightest particles in the universe.
The plan is to simulate a magnetar- a type of neutron star that generates an immensely powerful magnetic field- to seek dark matter particle (Axion).
Physicist reasoned that in the presence of an axion such a huge magnetic field should waver ever so slightly, producing a second magnetic field as a signature of the axion itself. The core of the experiment consists of magnetic coils, wound in the shape of a doughnut, which is encased in a layer of super conducting metal kept in a refrigerator at a temperature just above absolute zero, to minimize external noise. MIT scientists plan to use highly sensitive magnometer, to detect any sign of axion’s influence.
If they’re detected, axions may explain an outstanding dilemma in particle physics known as the strong CP (Charge Parity). Scientists have believed that this bizarre effect may be explained by the axion, which would somehow remove the neutron’s dipole moment. If so, the axion would modify electric and magnetic field phenomena in a way that could be detectable experimentally.
Until the ABRACADABRA is set on track, researchers at the University of Washington are running the Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX). The experiment works on converting axions into detectable photons.
In a paper published on the 2nd of November 2016, it stated that a super computer calculation shows that axions, if exist, could be at least ten times heavier than previously thought. If true, that’s a useful clue on how to find the particle. But it also suggests that the experiment that has been hunting the axion for two decades (ADMX) might be unlikely to find it because the detectors were designed for a lighter version.
Seems like the perplexed universe won’t easily give us answers! However, Stephen Hawking once said,” So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes a universe exist. Be curios! However difficult life may seem, there’s always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t give up.”