Researchers from MIT are planning to test a new theory about dark matter and how it exists. Dark matter is estimated to be make up the majority of the universe but little is known about its structure. In fact, there has never actually been any definitively detected before. Now the researchers are planning to do just that by using a particle accelerator.
The particle accelerator, located at the Jefferson Lab in Virginia, will have to be modified in order to perform the test but the guys at MIT have created a tool for that. They plan on using the tool in the near future in order to produce a narrow beam of electrons. These electrons would contain a megawatt of power and hopefully, identify two particles of dark matter.
The theory that these researchers have is that dark matter has a photon-like form. If they are correct when the narrow beam hits these particles they should decay into the beam. By being able to detect just two particles, the existence of dark matter would be proven.
Don’t expect a quick shout of victory or wail of defeat once the experiment is performed. The group plans on conducting the experiment several times over and is not planning or producing any results for at least four years, which includes two years for testing and two years to process the data.
[via The Verge]