This past June, 500 pounds of a specially fabricated crystal buried in an Italian mountain seemed to glow just a little brighter. It wasn’t the first time, nor the last—every year, the signal seems to increase and decrease like clockwork as the Earth orbits the Sun. Some people think the crystal has spotted a signature of elusive dark matter particles. Advertisement Scientists from an Italian experiment called DAMA/LIBRA announced at the XLIX meeting of the Gran Sasso Scientific Committee that after another six years observing, the annual modulation of their crystal’s signal is still present. This experiment was specially built to detect dark matter, and indeed, DAMA/LIBRA’s scientists are convinced they’ve spotted the elusive dark matter particle. Others are more skeptical. “What we can say for sure is that they see a modulation over the period of the year,” Jonathan Davis, astroparticle physicist at King’s College London in the UK who was not involved in the study, told Gizmodo. “It peaks in early June, roughly where you’d expect the dark matter signal to peak as well,” based on the Earth’s velocity compared to where the dark matter would be coming from in the galaxy. Continued observations of distant galaxies reveal that… Read full this story
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