LUX and the search for dark matter

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brian livesey
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LUX and the search for dark matter

Post by brian livesey »

After finishing its 20-month run this year in the search for dark matter, the Large Underground Xenon ( LUX ) experiment to detect dark matter has failed in its objective.
The experiment at the Sandiford Underground Research Facility in Dakota consists of sensors immersed in a 72,000 gallons tank of highly purified water, and was intended to detect tiny flashes of light, the result of dark matter particles colliding with xenon atoms.
The aim now is to build a detector that is 70 times more sensitive.
A British scientist involved in LUX research, Dr. Cham Ghag of University College London said:"A null result is significant because it changes the landscape of the field by constraining models for what dark matter could be beyond anything that existed previously."
Scientists are convinced that dark matter exists because of how galaxies rotate and also the refraction of light in space. If Wimp theory ( Weakly interacting heavy particles ) is correct, many billions of invisible dark matter particles are passing through us every second.
Professor Rick Gaitskell at Brown University in America said:"Lux has delivered the world's best search sensitivity since its first run in 2013. It would have been marvellous if the improved sensitivity had also delivered a clear dark matter signal. However, what we have observed is consistent with background alone."
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RMSteele
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Re: LUX and the search for dark matter

Post by RMSteele »

There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,...
M54
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Re: LUX and the search for dark matter

Post by M54 »

Would not be too surprised if talk of "dark matter" starts to be played down a little. Been at several talks and the early ones were all about how definite dark matter was. At one where the presenter was saying how CERN/LHC was copying the very very early time of the big bang which they described as when dark matter formed at a ratio of 5 DM to 1 Baryonic I asked a simple question to be met with a blank look.

Also recall that about 100 years back we had a body not orbiting the central object correctly and we came up with multiple "answers" to get around it, Vulcan being the memorable one. The reality was we had to change our idea of gravity and that was what Einstein did.

At more recent talks I have notiiced that the descriptions have started to drop the mention of matter we cannot see but are saying more gravity then we can account for. Which is a subtle difference.

At least twice the talks have given properties to dark matter that are mutually exclusive. This was "answered" with "Yes we realise that and are trying to work out a possible solution."

Dark Matter was termed by Fritz Zwicky in the 30's I seem to reacall, however at the time Relativity was not seen as a serious field. And so unseen matter was the obvious and simple solution at that time to the observed problem.

Would not be too surprised to see GR becoming an aspect and a talk by Prof Clifford Will may form part of it.
RMSteele
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Re: LUX and the search for dark matter

Post by RMSteele »

Yes quite so, M54, the present situation reminds me of the Michelson-Morley experiments in the late 19c to "prove" the ether - there just HAD to be a spatial medium in order to propagate light, according to the physics of the day. It was very puzzling when they discovered that the speed of light did not vary according to the parameters of the experiment. In the end it was theoretical physics that had to change with the development of Relativity and quantum theory. At present we seem to be heading towards a similar impasse with observation in advance of theory. Maybe we are yet again groping towards a different understanding of gravity and physics. Lets face it, we still haven't properly worked out how it all fits together; and now all we are doing is to invent more epicycles to make thing explicable.
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brian livesey
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Re: LUX and the search for dark matter

Post by brian livesey »

It's all very adventurous. :D
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