Hypothetical subatomic particles called axions get their chance to shine
Mark Stone/University of Washington
Scientists playing peekaboo with dark matter have entered a new stage of the game.
For the first time, physicists are snooping on some of the likeliest hiding places for hypothetical subatomic particles called axions, which could make up dark matter. So far, no traces of the particles have been found, scientists with the Axion Dark Matter Experiment, ADMX, report April 9 in Physical Review Letters. But the researchers have now shown that their equipment is sensitive enough to begin searching in earnest.
An ethereal substance that makes up much of the matter in the universe, dark matter is necessary to explain the motions of stars within galaxies, among other observations. Scientists don’t know what dark matter is, but axions, extremely lightweight particles that may permeate the cosmos, are one of the major contenders.
Most past searches for dark matter particles have focused on a