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Dark Matter Hunting in 2019: Fields in the Sky, Axions in the Fridge

Dark Matter Hunting in 2019: Fields in the Sky, Axions in the Fridge

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 31 March 2019



Two Papers

1> Examining the Theoretical Constraints of the Darkness

2> No Evidence of Axions


Dark Particle Hunting in Centaurus A
Searching Active Galaxies for Field Effects of Dark Matter
Centaurus A, one of the closest active galaxies to Earth, credit to ESO/WFI (optical), MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A. Weiss et al. (submillimeter), NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Kraft et al. (X-ray).

This image of Centaurus A, one of the closest active galaxies to Earth, combines the data from observations in multiple frequency ranges. Credit to ESO/WFI (optical), MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A. Weiss et al. (submillimeter), NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Kraft et al. (X-ray). Inspect the amazing full sized image.


1> A Walk Through the Theoretical Darkness

Searching the Sky for Hints of Dark Matter

Physicists constrain dark matter,
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, March 27, 2019.


Using observations to test various theories about dark matter, in this case using astronomical observations of the physics of energy emitted from galactic centers to test for telltale signs of field behaviors

“Researchers from Russia, Finland, and the U.S. have put a constraint on the theoretical model of dark matter particles by analyzing data from astronomical observations of active galactic nuclei. ”

“No one is quite sure what it is made of.”

“Despite the expectations that dark matter particles would be discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, this did not happen.”

“Diverse observations indicate that dark matter exists, but apparently something other than the particles in the Standard Model constitutes it.”

“The Standard Model needs to be extended.”

“Physicists thus have to consider further options that are more complex.”

The Ultra-heavy & Ultralight Approaches
“Among the candidates for inclusion are hypothetical particles that may have masses in the range from 10⁻²⁶ to 10⁺¹⁴ times the mass of the electron.”

The Ultra-heavy Particles

Earlier Research
Searching for Dark Matter & Not Finding WIMPS

Astro Physics News: Dark Matter Dilemma Creates & Kills MACHOS, WIMPS, & now SIMPS


The Ultralight Particles

"We are talking about dark matter particles that are 28 orders of magnitude lighter than the electron.”

“...such particles would be so light that they would interact very weakly with other matter and light, making them exceedingly hard to study.”

“...that would mean there is a tremendous number of them. But with particles as light as these, the question arises: How do we protect them from acquiring effective mass due to quantum corrections? Calculations show that one possible answer would be that these particles interact weakly with photons — that is, with electromagnetic radiation.”

(These would be the Axions, discussed here):
New Perspectives on the Hunt for Dark Matter Particles

Small Particle Field Effects
“When the number of particles is very high, instead of individual particles, you can treat them as a field of certain density permeating the universe.”

This Field Would Oscillate Uniforimly
“This means that the interaction of our ultralight particles with radiation may well be constrained. This field coherently oscillates over domains that are on the order of 100 parsecs in size, or about 325 light years.”

No Uniform Oscillation Observed
“But the problem was that the sine period has to be determined by the dark matter particle mass, which means it must be the same for every object. There were 30 objects in our sample. And it may be that some of them oscillated due to their own internal physics, but anyway, the periods were never the same.”

Eliminates, “Small Particle,” Dark Matter?
Well Constrained, if not eliminated...
“We are not saying such particles do not exist, but we have demonstrated that they don't interact with photons, putting a constraint on the available models describing the composition of dark matter."

“...other scenarios predict no interactions at all between our world and dark matter, other than those mediated by gravity. This would make its particles very hard to find.”




Recent Related Research
At the Frontiers of Theoretical Darkness

An Effect of the Mass of Light?
Can We Find Dark Matter in the Light?


Strange Negative Mass Fluid explains Cosmological Constant, Dark Matter, & Dark Energy?


Science News: Looking For Darkness, Dark Matter, with Superfluid Helium & Time


String Theory, Dark Energy, and the Big Bang Collide in the "Swampland"


Centaurus A


13 h25 m27.6 s

−43° 01′ 09
Using the coordinates above, on our Star Chart below.

Star Chart

Apparent Magnitude
"The unaided eye can see stars to approximately 6m, depending on sky conditions."
Quote from p. 10:

Field Guide
The Observer's Sky Atlas
E. Karkoschka, Springer-verlag, Berlin, 1990. Handbook, Best of Breed.

Explore the Night Skies!

Trail Guide Navigation Section

Field Astronomy for the High Sierra Backpacker







Axion Hunters in the Fridge

Dark matter experiment finds no evidence of axions,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, March 28, 2019.


Axion Hunters
“...have performed the first run of a new experiment to detect axions -- hypothetical particles that are predicted to be among the lightest particles in the universe. If they exist, axions would be virtually invisible, yet inescapable; they could make up nearly 85 percent of the mass of the universe, in the form of dark matter.”

Axion Detection
“Because of their interaction with electromagnetism, axions are theorized to have a surprising behavior around magnetars -- a type of neutron star that churns up a hugely powerful magnetic field. If axions are present, they can exploit the magnetar's magnetic field to convert themselves into radio waves, which can be detected with dedicated telescopes on Earth.”

“In 2016, a trio of MIT theorists drew up a thought experiment for detecting axions, inspired by the magnetar.”

“The team proposed a design for a small, donut-shaped magnet kept in a refrigerator at temperatures just above absolute zero. Without axions, there should be no magnetic field in the center of the donut… However, if axions exist, a detector should "see" a magnetic field in the middle of the donut.”

“The experiment is designed to detect axions of even smaller masses, down to about 1 femtoelectronvolts, as well as axions as large as 1 microelectronvolts. ”

No Axions
“...team reports that in the first month of observations the experiment detected no sign of axions within the mass range of 0.31 to 8.3 nanoelectronvolts. This means that axions within this mass range, which is equivalent to about one-quintillionth the mass of a proton, either don't exist or they have an even smaller effect on electricity and magnetism than previously thought.”

The Search Goes On

“The team will continue running the current experiment, which is about the size of a basketball, to look for even smaller and weaker axions.”






Earlier Axion Research

New Perspectives on the Hunt for Dark Matter Particles


Earlier Axion Search

CERN points giant magnet at the Sun to look for dark matter particles,
Axions don't show up yet, but that doesn't mean they're not out ther
Ars Technica, May 2, 2017.




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