German scientists are now arguing that dark matter is made up of tiny particles called axions. Scientists from the University of University of Wuppertal, Eötvös University in Budapest, and Forschungszentrum Jülich are working to discover what dark matter is made up of. By following the Standard Model of particle physics and using an advanced supercomputer, the group of researchers now have predictions about the consistency of dark matter.
Published in “Nature”, lead researcher Zoltán Fodor argues that dark matter is composed of several light particles called axions – a hypothetical subatomic particle that is believed to cause quantum anomalies. Researchers used a supercomputer to calculate the conditions that axions can exist in the universe. The results hypothesized that if dark matter is composed of axions, then the mass should be between 50 to 1500 micro-electronvolts, which is 10 billion times lighter than electrons.
Researchers involved in the study argue that the result of the experiment will open the door to additional dark matter research. “The results we are presenting will probably lead to a race to discover these particles,” says Fodor. Fodor asserts that we will soon be able to experimentally confirm or rule the existence of axions thanks to this prediction.
But what is dark matter? Dark matter is a type of matter that is theoretically found in approximately 27% of all mass and energy in the universe. Dark matter does not interact with light or other types of electromagnetic radiation, therefore making it invisible and to this day, dark matter has never been directly observed. Essentially, dark matter is unlike any other matter in the observable universe.
However, dark matter does interact with gravity. Currently, theories suggest that dark matter is either so incredibly large or so incredibly small that it does not absorb or emit enough electromagnetic radiation.
It is important to point out that dark matter is currently a hypothesis. But, there have been several types of phenomenons that may only be explainable by the existence of dark matter. Astronomers report optical illusions such as abnormal acrs of light or galaxies with abnormal phyiscal properties, which could be explained by large clusters of dark matter in the foreground.In addition, last August scientists reported Dragonfly 44, which is an ultra diffuse galaxy – a galaxy with a large density but very little observable light – maybe consisted entirely of dark matter.