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On the Existence of Low-Mass Dark Matter and its Direct Detection / James Bateman; Ian McHardy; Alexander Merle; Tim R. Morris; Hendrik Ulbricht

Scientific Reports, Volume: 5, Start page: 8058

Swansea University Author: James, Bateman

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DOI (Published version): 10.1038/srep08058

Abstract

Dark Matter (DM) is an elusive form of matter which has been postulated to explain astronomical observations through its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing of light around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). This indirect evidence...

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Published in: Scientific Reports
Published: 2015
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa28696
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Abstract: Dark Matter (DM) is an elusive form of matter which has been postulated to explain astronomical observations through its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing of light around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). This indirect evidence implies that DM accounts for as much as 84.5% of all matter in our Universe, yet it has so far evaded all attempts at direct detection, leaving such confirmation and the consequent discovery of its nature as one of the biggest challenges in modern physics. Here we present a novel form of low-mass DM χ that would have been missed by all experiments so far. While its large interaction strength might at first seem unlikely, neither constraints from particle physics nor cosmological/astronomical observations are sufficient to rule out this type of DM, and it motivates our proposal for direct detection by optomechanics technology which should soon be within reach, namely, through the precise position measurement of a levitated mesoscopic particle which will be perturbed by elastic collisions with χ particles. We show that a recently proposed nanoparticle matter-wave interferometer, originally conceived for tests of the quantum superposition principle, is sensitive to these collisions, too.
Item Description: This work received media attention including The Independent, NBC News, The Times of India, and BBC Local radio.
College: College of Science
Start Page: 8058