Scientists may have accidentally detected dark energy


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TORONTO – Dark energy, a mysterious force believed to be causing the universe to expand at an accelerated rate, may be detected for the first time by scientists.

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one in new studyPublished Wednesday in the journal Physical Review D, the authors suggest that some of the unexplained results from an experiment designed to detect dark matter may be due to dark energy.

“Even though both components are invisible, we know a lot about dark matter, as its existence was suggested in the 1920s, while dark energy was not discovered until 1998,” said Kavli of the University of Cambridge. Sunny Wagnozzi of the Institute for Cosmology, said in Story posted by university. “Large-scale experiments like XENON1T are designed to directly detect dark matter, by searching for signs of dark matter ‘hitting’ normal matter, but dark energy is even more elusive.”


According to scientists, almost everything we can see and interact with, from bacteria to entire galaxies, is thought to be simple matter and energy, and accounts for about five percent of our universe. The remainder is made up of dark matter (27 percent), an invisible attractive force that holds the universe together, and dark energy (68 percent), a repulsive force thought to be responsible for the universe’s accelerated expansion.

NS xenon The research project is a collaboration of 160 scientists from around the world who have come together to conduct a series of experiments aimed at detecting dark matter particles. These experiments involve the use of ultra-pure liquid xenon, a colourless, dense, odorless noble gas that is found in very small amounts in Earth’s atmosphere.

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The experiments are carried out at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, the world’s largest underground laboratory, located about 1.4 kilometers beneath the Gran Sasso mountains in central Italy, about 120 kilometers northeast of Rome.

The XENON1T experiment was the latest phase of the project. About a year ago, she was diagnosed with an unexpected sign, or excess, on the expected background profile.

“Such excesses are often temporary, but sometimes they can lead to fundamental discoveries,” said researcher Luca Vicinelli from the Frascati National Laboratories in Italy. “We discovered a model in which this signal may be due to dark energy, not the dark matter that dark matter was originally used to detect.”

The researchers created a physical model that used a type of screening mechanism known as chameleon screening to show that dark energy particles generated in the Sun’s strong magnetic fields could explain the XENON1T signal.

“It was really surprising that in theory this could be due to dark energy rather than excess dark matter,” Vagnozzi said. “When things click together like this, it’s really special.”

Such a discovery would mean that experiments designed to detect dark matter, including those performed during the Xenon project, could also be used to detect dark energy. But further research is needed to confirm these findings.

“We have to know first that this was not just a fluke,” Vicinelli said. “If XENON1T did indeed see something, you would expect to see a similar overhang again in future experiments, but this time with a much stronger signal.”


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