Top physics stories for 2013 include four-quark particle and possible dark matter signal
|December 30, 2013||Posted by News under News, Physics|
Dark matter, which we cover when something big happens, was in the number 3 spot of 11 stories chosen by the editors of Physics:
Dark Matter is Still Obscure
2013 was an eventful year in dark-matter research, with leading search efforts releasing long-awaited results—though the puzzle of what makes up the dark matter remains unsolved. In April, the collaboration running the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer aboard the International Space Station reported the observation of an excess of positrons in the cosmic ray flux. This could well originate from the annihilation of dark-matter particles in space, but data at higher energies are needed to rule out other explanations. Two other Earth-bound experiments instead attempted to capture candidate dark-matter particles called WIMPs as they pass through Earth. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment at Fermilab in Illinois caused a stir when it announced it had detected a few blips in its scintillators that could potentially be assigned to WIMPs. But the excitement was soon dampened by the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment in South Dakota. LUX, with nominally much better sensitivity, saw no evidence of such dark-matter particles. Both experiments are now racing to improve their sensitivities and hoping to deliver unequivocal dark-matter signals.
See also: Dark matter so far not detected, but researchers find cause for hope in that fact (If it is really a quarter of the universe, how strange that we never detect it.)
Is there really any dark matter? (Quote: “It’s ghost-like matter.”)
What if the Higgs boson exists … but dark matter doesn’t? (Is it like the Higgs… or like phlogiston?)
Hat tip: Rob Sheldon
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