Thursday, 1 October 2009

Dark matter detector? Or amber spyglass?

Science Daily reports that a team of researchers from the University of Zaragoza and IAS, in France has developed a device that can be used in efforts to detect the dark matter of the universe.  The device titled '"scintillating bolometer" uses a crystal so pure it can conduct the energy ostensibly generated when a particle of dark matter strikes the nucleus of one of its atoms.

It is currently being used at the Orsay University Centre in France, where the team is working to optimise the device's light gathering potential. Eduardo García Abancéns notes:

"One of the biggest challenges in physics today is to discover the true nature of dark matter, which cannot be directly observed – even though it seems to make up one-quarter of the matter of the Universe. So we have to attempt to detect it using prototypes such as the one we have developed"

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