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The Search For Dark Matter

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The search for dark matter

Recently the dark matter detector LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) has released its first results.

It may be noted that in the United States, one of the most sensitive dark matter detector experiments ‘LUX-ZEPLIN’ (LZ) is being used to find evidence of ‘dark matter’ in the universe.

Testing of the LZ detector in the United States has revealed it to be the most sensitive dark matter detector ever built.

The universe that is visible to us includes the Earth, the Sun, other stars and galaxies. The visible universe is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. These are all bound together in atoms.

Baryonic matter is also called “ordinary matter”. This matter is less than 5 percent of the mass of the universe.

The only visible matter in the universe is called baryonic matter. The rest of the universe is made up of a mysterious invisible substance. This invisible matter is called dark matter. Dark matter accounts for 25% of the universe.

The force that repels gravity in the universe is called dark energy. 70 percent of the universe is made up of dark energy.

Unlike ordinary matter, dark matter does not interact with the electromagnetic force. This means that it neither absorbs nor reflects or emits light. This makes it extremely difficult to identify.

Scientist’s study dark matter by observing the effects of dark matter on visible objects.

Importance of studying dark matter

  • This may be the cause of the unexplained motions of stars within galaxies.
  • It is important for understanding the evolution of the universe and the origin of stars, planets etc.

LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ)

  • This is an underground detector. It is designed to detect dark matter in the form of weakly interacting giant particles (WIMPs).
  • This detector has a huge titanium tank. It is filled with very pure liquid xenon.
  • The center of the LZ is one of the purest places on Earth. Here the purest place means the place free from radiation and dust.
  • Scientists and institutions from the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal and Korea are collaborating in this detector.

Source – The Hindu

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