Sunday, February 15, 2015

Recommended by us: A Cosmic Quest for Dark Matter

In the following I attached an article appeared two days ago in The Wall Street Journal about the DarkSide-50 experiment located in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, in which I am deeply involved since I am a member of the collaboration. I was there in those days and for this reason I know also some funny behind the scenes :)

By the way, I was lucky enough to see even more snow than that you see at the beginning of the video, thanks to a big snow storm that happened just a day after the realization of the following interview.
I have attached also some pictures of my stay during the DarkSide General meeting.

Enjoy the read!

A Cosmic Quest for Dark Matter 

Scientists are hunting one of the biggest prizes in physics: tiny particles called wimps that could unlock some of the universe’s oldest secrets

Feb. 13, 2015 1:32 pm E.T.

A mile under Italy's Gran Sasso mountain, scientists are seeking one of the smallest objects in the universeand one of the most biggest prizes in physics: a wimp.

A wimp—a weakly interacting massive particle—is thought to be the stuff of dark matter, an invisible substance that makes up about a quarter of the universe but has never been seen by humans.

Gravity is the force that holds things together, and the vast majority of it emanates from dark matter. Ever since the big bang, this mystery material has been the universe’s prime architect, giving it shape and structure. Without dark matter, there would be no galaxies, no stars, no planets. Solving its mystery is crucial to understanding what the universe is made of.

“If we don’t assume that 85% of the matter in the universe is this unknown material, the laws of relativity and gravity would have to be modified. That would be significant,” says physicist Giuliana Fiorillo, a member of the 150-strong team searching for the particles at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, 80 miles east of Rome.

The quest for dark matter has intensified since the discovery of the Higgs boson particle two years ago, which helped to narrow the field in which wimps might be hiding. Today, more than 20 different teams of researchers are hunting for the elusive stuff, using some of the most elaborate and delicate experiments ever devised.

Dark-matter detectors have been installed on the sea bed nearly 8,200 feet beneath the surface. Others operate deep inside mines. There is one on the International Space Station. China’s new dark-matter experiment sits 1.5 miles beneath a marble mountain. When it restarts later this year, the Large Hadron Collider will look for wimps, too, by smashing together subatomic particles.

                                                                           Continue to read on The Wall Street Journal 
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