Of all the different dark matter detectors in the world, only one has consistently come up with a positive signal. The results of DAMA experiment in Italy are hotly debated – and now two experiments seeking to verify it using the same materials have returned conflicting results
ANAIS, a dark matter detector run by the University of Zaragoza at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in Spain, has delivered results that seem to contradict DAMA's
But COSINE-100, run by a collaboration between the Korea Invisible Mass Search and Yale University at Yangyang Underground Laboratory in South Korea has now produced new output. These results are similar to what ANAIS 'threw up – but also a little closer to the results DAMA has produced over the last 20 years.
That latest COSINE-1
On top of all that, both experiments are only reporting preliminary results that are still to be peer reviewed. So, what would we make of all this?
Dark matter is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. Something is out there generating gravitational force that can not be accounted for by detectable matter. The way the stars and the galaxies move indicate that up to 85 percent of the matter in the universe is actually dark matter
One of these potential signatures is produced by hypothetical ', but it could be a sign that we can detect, if we can refine our technology and know what to look for. weakly interacting massive particles, known as WIMPs. If these particles exist, we should be able to detect them through their collisions with electrons or atomic nuclei, which would cause the charged particles on Earth to recoil, producing light that could be picked up by liquid xenon or crystal detectors
DAMA has was recorded WIMP detections since 1995, observed as an annual fluctuation in the number of light flashes detected
Due to the Earth's orbit around the Sun and the Solar System's orbit around the galactic center, Earth would theoretically be exposed to darkness
This is because the faster we are moving through the space, the more dark matter should be pound us, and the mid-year is when the orbital speeds of Earth and the Solar System combine
This is exactly what DAMA scientists claim their results show, but no other dark matter detector has come close to replicating it – not even XENON1T, hailed as our best shot at finding the elusive stuff
However, XENON1T uses liquid xenon detectors. Meanwhile DAMA uses sodium iodide crystal detectors in a tank filled with liquid scintillator to tag cosmic ray muons, so this is what ANAIS and COSINE-100 used too
But for all that, we're still in shrug emoji territory. 19659003] ANAIS 'data did turn up fluctuations, but they were not in sync with DAMA's June peak and December ebb. And, while the COSINE-100 result was closer than ANAIS, it still "confirms that DAMA's modulation signal can not be from standard WIMP & [standard halo model] with [sodium iodide]," the researchers said. , all so similar, producing such different results? Is someone doing something wrong? Does it have slight differences in detectors to blame? If this plot gets any thicker it would be congealed porridge
"Juan Fallar of the University of Chicago in Illinois told Nature . "But the instruments seem to have sufficient sensitivity to give conclusive results soon."
It's probably going to take a few more years of observations before physicists are any closer to unveiling the truth. We are waiting with bated breath
The COSINE-100 results were presented at the Conference on Results and Perspectives in Particle Physics on 12 March. The results of ANAIS have been published on arXiv