To search for dark matter proposed to send an atomic clock to the Sun

(ORDO NEWS) — The presence of dark matter should affect the energy states of ordinary atoms and particles.

Therefore, atomic clocks can notice its presence. And to make this effect more noticeable, they can be sent closer to the Sun, where the density of dark matter is maximum.

The substance of which galaxies, planets and living beings are composed is only a small part of our Universe.

Much more it contains dark matter, which remains invisible and manifests itself only as a gravitational influence on ordinary matter, on the movements of distant stars and galaxies. What it consists of is unclear, and all attempts to detect dark matter in experiments remain unsuccessful.

However, physicists are constantly inventing new ways to find it – for example, using conventional radars or tiny pendulums.

Another original idea was voiced: to use ultra-precise atomic clocks, sending them as close as possible to the Sun, where the density of dark matter should be maximum in the entire solar system, and its manifestations are especially noticeable.

Some models of dark matter show that certain fundamental particles and interactions can change their behavior under its influence. It is this behavior that atomic clocks rely on.

For ultra-precise time tracking, they capture the regular transitions of particles between different energy states, which are accompanied by the emission of photons.

In the presence of sufficient amounts of dark matter, the difference between energy states can change, which will affect the frequency of oscillations in atomic clocks. It is these changes that can become the first experimental evidence of its existence.

“The more dark matter around, the stronger the oscillations,” said Joshua Eby, one of the authors of the new work, “so the local density of dark matter is very important for signal analysis.” Therefore, Ebi and his colleagues propose to send atomic clocks closer to the Sun.

Scientists emphasize that all the technologies necessary for this already exist. Atomic clocks are actively used on satellites, for example, in devices of global navigation systems.

And for work in close proximity to the Sun, effective thermal screens have been developed. This is used by the Parker probe, which observes a star from an extremely close orbit and sometimes even ” dives ” into its red-hot corona.


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