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According to Live Science (This article and its images were originally posted on Live Science September 4, 2018 at 03:28PM.)
Almost everything is missing. And a team of physicists is trying to find all of it.
The universe as we know it includes about a tenth of the total stuff that’s out there. The rest? Missing. Invisible. Undetectable, except through the effects of its gravity on the fraction of stuff that we can see. Researchers call that missing stuff the dark sector, the class of energetic and massive particles that seemingly must exist out there somewhere, but that don’t interact with luminous matter (the stuff we’re made of, along with everything we can see) in any way we can detect.
There’s a new project at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Italy that’s going to try to unlock all that dark stuff using the theoretical dark photon (the dark sector version of regular light-carrying photons) as the key. And if they actually find the dark photon, it will provide evidence for the universe’s fifth force — that would be huge news in physics land. [Beyond Higgs: 5 Elusive Particles That May Lurk in the Universe]
According to a report in The Guardian, Italian researchers plan to bombard a diamond wafer with a beam of antimatter particles called positrons, which are the antimatter version of electrons. Under normal circumstances, positrons and electrons that smash into one another annihilate each other, producing a pair of regular photons.
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