Ground-based radars proposed to search for dark matter

(ORDO NEWS) — Flying through the earth’s atmosphere, mysterious particles of dark matter can leave an ionized trail. This allows us to hope that they can be detected using conventional radars.

Ordinary matter, which stars, planets and plasma are made of, makes up only a small part of our Universe. Its share is estimated at only a few percent. At the same time, more than 22 percent is accounted for by dark matter.

It does not interact with ordinary light in any way, does not absorb or refract light, but manifests itself due to the gravitational influence on the growth and movement of stars, clusters and galaxies.

What particles dark matter consists of is still not known, and all attempts to capture them remain unsuccessful.

This feeds the most exotic hypotheses about its nature, up to the existence of an “anti-universe” mirroring our world.

The key problem with the search for dark matter particles is that physicists still do not understand what exactly they need to find.

Their mass and other properties are incomprehensible, but it is on this that the search method, the design of detectors, and so on, depend.

However, the new work of scientists from Ohio State University (USA) offers a completely different approach, which, theoretically, can detect traces of dark matter in a wide range of possible characteristics.

To do this, scientists have proposed turning to already existing tools for detecting meteors moving through the Earth’s atmosphere. When flying, such bodies cause ionization, leaving a trail of ions and free electrons.

Electromagnetic waves bounce off charged particles, making them visible to ground-based radars. According to Bikom and his co-authors, similar ionized traces can be left by hypothetical dark matter particles flying through the air.

Scientists have calculated the effective scattering area that these particles can have on radar data, and have proposed to start searching already, turning the entire earth’s atmosphere into a giant detector.

According to them , such work will make it possible, if not to find elusive particles, then at least to test some cosmological observations of dark matter, which are characterized by insufficient accuracy and reliability.

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