We Can’t See 85% of the Universe… Why Not?

Dark matter painting

Physics fascinates me, even though I don’t speak its language, mathematics, well enough to develop any intuition about the subject.  The big questions in physics may not change what I do tomorrow, but I believe knowledge is a good thing.  I’ve never regretted learning something.  So this item intrigues me:

“Maybe dark matter is unseeable because its electromagnetic field loops in on itself — an anapole — instead of having the familiar two-pole set up of visible matter.  An anapole field is generated by an electrical current traveling in a ring, resulting in the field being confined inside a doughnut shape.  The setup not only keeps these particles from being visible, it also keeps them from interacting except when moving.

“‘The [anapole] model makes very specific predictions about the rate at which it should show up in the vast dark matter detectors that are buried underground all over the world,” he said. “These predictions show that soon the existence of anapole dark matter should either be discovered or ruled out by these experiments’.”  This quote is from http://bit.ly/11t0HiC and you can find many other sites covering this news.

The theory is testable, the experimental equipment already exists, and we should know if anapoles are the answer soon.  So many exotic theories in physics can’t be tested, so this is exciting.

Go  Robert Scherrer and Chiu Man Ho!  (They proposed the anapole idea at Vanderbilt University.)

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