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For the first time in the world, physicists are narrowing down the potential mass of dark matter

For the first time in the world, physicists are narrowing down the potential mass of dark matter

We may not know what Dark matter It is, but now scientists have a better idea of ​​what they’re looking for.

Based on quantum gravity, physicists have established new, stricter limits for the upper and lower mass of dark matter particles. They found that the range of mass is much narrower than previously thought.

This means that filtering dark matter that is either light or extremely heavy is unlikely to be the answer, based on our current understanding of the universe.

“This is the first time that anyone would think of using what we know about quantum gravity as a way to calculate the mass range of dark matter. We were surprised to realize that no one had ever done so before – as fellow scientists did our paper,” Said the physicist and astronomer Xavier Calmette From the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.

“What we did shows that dark matter cannot be either“ super light ”or“ very heavy ”as some say – unless there is an additional, as yet unknown force, working on it. This research helps physicists in two ways: It focuses on a region. The search for dark matter, and it could potentially also help reveal whether or not there is an additional mysterious and unknown force in the universe.

Dark matter is without a doubt one of the universe’s greatest mysteries as we know it. It is the name we give to a mysterious mass responsible for the effects of gravity that cannot be explained by things that we can discover by other means – natural matter such as stars, dust and galaxies.

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For example, galaxies rotate much faster than they should if their gravity is affected by natural matter. A gravitational lens – the curvature of space-time around massive objects – is much stronger than it should be. Whatever creates this extra oomph beyond our ability to direct detection.

We only know it through the effect of gravity on other bodies. Based on this effect, we know there is a lot more to it. severely 80 percent Every matter in the universe is dark matter. It’s called dark matter because it’s dark. And also vague.

However, we already know that dark matter interacts with gravity, so Calmette and his colleague, physicist and astronomer Volkert Kuipers of the University of Sussex, have turned to quantum gravity traits to try to estimate the mass range of a hypothetical dark matter particle (whatever it is).

They explain that quantum gravity places a number of limitations on the possibility of dark matter particles of different masses existing. While we do not have a decent working theory that unifies General RelativityDescribing the gravitational bending of space with the discrete mass of quantum physics, we know that any combination of the two will reflect certain fundamentals of both. As such, dark matter particles must comply with quantum gravitational rules about how the particles are broken down or interacted.

By carefully accounting for all of these limits, they were able to exclude the ranges of mass that are unlikely to exist under our current understanding of physics.

Based on the assumption that only gravity can interact with dark matter, they determined that the mass of a particle should drop between 10-3 Electron volt and 107 Electron volts, depending on the spin of the particles and the nature of the dark matter interactions.

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This is insanely younger than the 10-24 electronvolt to 1019 Traditionally, the researchers said, the GeV range. This is important, because it largely excludes some candidates, such as WIMPs (weakly interacting macromolecules).

If it turns out that these candidates are the culprits behind the mystery of dark matter, according to Calmette and Kuipers, it means that they have been affected by some force that we don’t know about yet.

That would be really cool, because it signals new physics – a new tool for analyzing and understanding our universe.

Above all, the team’s restrictions provide a new framework to consider in the search for dark matter, helping to narrow the search for where and how to search.

“As a PhD student, it’s great to be able to work on exciting and impactful research like this,” Kuibers said. “Our findings are very good news for the experiment because it will help them get even closer to discovering the true nature of dark matter.”

The research has been published in Physics letters b.

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