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One Idea to Explain Dark Matter – Ultralight Bosons – Fails the Test

20 Apr 2021, 18:04 UTC
One Idea to Explain Dark Matter – Ultralight Bosons – Fails the Test
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Dark matter continues to resist our best efforts to pin it down. While dark matter remains a dominant theory of cosmology, and there is lots of evidence to support a universe filled with cold dark matter, every search for dark matter particles yields nothing. A new study continues that tradition, ruling out a range of dark matter candidates.

What we know about dark matter interactions. Credit: Perimeter Institute

If dark matter particles exist, we know they can’t interact strongly with light. They must interact gravitationally, and they might interact via the strong and weak nuclear forces as well. We also know they can’t be highly massive particles. If they were, they’d decay over time into lighter particles, and we see little evidence of this. This leaves three broad candidates: small black holes, sterile neutrinos, or some type of light boson. This latest work focuses on the third option.

A table of supersymetric particles. Credit: Claire David / CERN

Known elementary particles of matter can be placed in one of two categories: fermions and bosons. So, electrons, quarks, and neutrinos are fermions, while photons and gluons are bosons. Within the standard model of particle physics, there are no bosons that would ...

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