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Scientists find first indication of Dark Matter at LHC

Scientists at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider has made a breakthrough in discovering the first signs of Dark Matter.

The LHC is a 17 mile long circular underground track that is chilled to almost zero degrees Kelvin. It has been recording incredibly violent collisions, the likes of which haven’t been seen in billions of years. These collisions will more than likely produce substances such as Dark Matter, which will be analysed by the LHC technology, potentially answering mysteries of physics.

Dark Matter makes up five times more of the universe mass than visible matter (25% against 5%), but scientists have not yet been able to directly observe this substance. And without being able to view it directly it means that very little is known about it.

A visualisation of particle jets in the CMS. Yellow is the path of the particles, while blue and red represent energy detected from the particles. (Source: CERN/Imperial College of London)

Scientists feel that progress is being made in the hunt for the SUSY – known as the supersymmetric particle, or ‘sparticle’. This is thought by scientists to be the mysterious dark matter particle, especially when considering its theroretical stability.

To detect sparticles, scientists have to probe the matter resulting from collisions for the absense of energy and momenta signals. The indication that a sparticle has been produced, rather than a standard particle. The lack of energetic emissivity is the exact reason why dark matter is ‘dark’, it doesn’t transfer energy to photons.

Professor Oliver Buchmueller, a faculty member at the Department of Physics at Imperial College London – who is a researcher at CERN said “We need a good understanding of the ordinary collisions so that we can recognise the unusual ones when they happen. Such collisions are rare but can be produced by known physics. We examined some 3-trillion proton-proton collisions and found 13 ‘SUSY-like’ ones, around the number that we expected. Although no evidence for sparticles was found, this measurement narrows down the area for the search for dark matter significantly.”

Professor Geoff Hall, a physics faculty memory working at CERN said “We have made an important step forward in the hunt for dark matter, although no discovery has yet been made. These results have come faster than we expected because the LHC and CMS ran better last year than we dared hope and we are now very optimistic about the prospects of pinning down Supersymmetry in the next few years.”

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