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Space & Astronomy

New clue found in the hunt for dark matter

By T.K. Randall
March 4, 2020 · Comment icon 13 comments

What exactly is dark matter and how did it come to form ? Image Credit: NASA/ESA
Scientists may have finally determined what might be behind this mysterious, invisible form of matter.
The precise nature of dark matter and dark energy, which are thought to account for up to 96% of the observable universe, remains one of the most important unsolved mysteries in modern physics.

Despite concerted efforts, astronomers have been unable to observe dark matter directly because it does not absorb, emit or reflect any electromagnetic radiation, thus making it impossible to see.

Now though, scientists at the University of York, England have come up with a possible new candidate for dark matter - a particle known as a d-star hexaquark.

"The origin of dark matter in the universe is one of the biggest questions in science and one that, until now, has drawn a blank," said nuclear physicist Daniel Watts. "Our first calculations indicate that condensates of d-stars are a feasible new candidate for dark matter.
"This new result is particularly exciting since it doesn't require any concepts that are new to physics."

Quarks are a type of fundamental particle than can combine in groups of three to form baryons - something that almost everything in the observable universe is made up of.

When six quarks combine, they produce a hexaquark - something that has only been rarely observed.

The exact science from this point on is rather complex, but essentially if a gas of d-star hexaquarks was floating around in the early universe and cooled in the wake of the Big Bang, it could have come together to form condensates that the researchers believe could be what we now call dark matter.

"The next step to establish this new dark matter candidate will be to obtain a better understanding of how the d-stars interact - when do they attract and when do they repel each other," said physicist Mikhail Bashkanov.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (13)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by SpaceBumZaphod 4 years ago
You can find concentrated dark matter in Nibbler's litter box. Anyways, cool theory. Now, if they can prove it.
Comment icon #5 Posted by quiXilver 4 years ago
wait... i thought that... but then, those aren't tootsie rolls?!?!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
I still think 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' are essentially placeholders for stuff we just don't understand and cannot detect, but (according to our math) should exist. Our math could be wrong, and/or our fundamental grasp of the universe could be wrong too. The further we try to explore and explain things outside our scale, the more F-ed up it always seems to get. Going down past the sub-atomic scale or going up into the scale of astrophysics just seems to create more questions and problems (and guesses) than answers.
Comment icon #7 Posted by WanderingFool0 4 years ago
A lot of time to me the advanced theoretical physicists seem like they are just playing the old philosophers game thinking up explanations. Some of the various theories I have read even remind me of ideas I have read from older philosophers just with new names and new vocabulary. At least in a lot of the still unproven theoretical stuff.
Comment icon #8 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
I never liked the concept of dark matter. "Theories don't work, so we add an ingredient to make it work." I'm more into slightly changing, what we know is there, to make it work. So we know that two black holes can make a wormhole. But what if less can do it also? What if common stars can make them too? If so, then a galaxy could be a network of wormholes, making dark matter obsolete.
Comment icon #9 Posted by joc 4 years ago
Well, you just lost me! lol
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
No we don't know that, it's just as hypothetical as a dark matter, more so in fact. The presence of dark matter can, and has been, measured. No worm hole between two black holes has ever been detected. You have spent this thread accusing scientists of the following: But apparently it's okay for you to do it.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
I just consider "black holes" to be super dense objects that gathers everything around it and either grows, or if it takes in too much mass too quickly, tosses it out. The whole "wormhole" concept doesn't work for me. .....Although now I think about it....Some sort of portalmight exist between Earth and the Volgosphere, where Harte gets his poetry.
Comment icon #12 Posted by sci-nerd 4 years ago
I'm just trying to simplify nature, Occam's razor style. Instead of multiplying the amount of matter by 20 (which is a bit radical), I increase the potential of gravity slightly. Wormholes are predicted by general relativity. Dark matter is not. So I have a very successful theory on my side in this
Comment icon #13 Posted by Sojo 3 years ago
Just saw this post about dark matter and I like the Occam's razor path rather than making up some other undetectable answer. I'm no physicist and do not understand all the calculations, but my understanding on the concept of why dark matter was contrived was due to observations of stars near the outer regions of galaxies seen to be traveling much faster than they should be compared with the speed of stars closer to the galaxy center. I wonder if the differential in time passage between the inner areas and the outer areas of the observed galaxy(ies) is taken into consideration when being observ... [More]

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