Nav: Home

New portal to unveil the dark sector of the universe

March 23, 2017

Once upon a time, the Universe was just a hot soup of particles. In those days, together with visible particles, other particles to us hidden or dark might have formed. Billions of years later scientists catalogued 17 types of visible particles, with the most recent one being the Higgs boson, creating the 'Standard Model'. However, they are still struggling to detect the hidden particles, the ones that constitute the dark sector of the Universe.

Scientists at the Center for Theoretical Physics of the Universe, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have proposed a hypothetical portal that connects two possible dark sector particles; their research could open a new perspective into the murky understanding of the dark sector. Published in Physical Review Letters, this study has implications in cosmology and astroparticle physics.

Physicists have plenty of ideas about what these dark sector particles might look like. One candidate is the axion, which is a very light particle that can solve some theoretical problems of the Standard Model. Another candidate is the dark photon: A very light particle which shares some properties with one of the particles of the Standard Model, that is the photon, the constituent of visible light. However, while photons couple to the electromagnetic charge, dark photons couple to the so-called dark charge, that might be carried by other dark sector particles.

Physicists believe that the dark sector communicates with the Standard Model, via portals. For example, a vector portal would allow the mixing between photons and dark photons. And, an axion portal connects axions and photons. There are only several possible portals physicists have identified, and each portal is a major tool in theoretical and experimental studies in searching for dark sector particles. A team of IBS scientists, hypothesized the existence of a new portal they named the "dark axion portal" that connects dark photons and axions.

The central idea of the dark axion portal is based on the observation that new heavy quarks may also have a dark charge that couples to the dark photon. Through the heavy quarks, axion, photon, and dark photon can interact with each other.

IBS scientists imagine that the dark axion portal could bring ideas for new experiments. So far, the axion search has been performed using only the axion portal, which connects the axion to a pair of photons (axion--photon--photon coupling). Similarly, the dark photon search has been performed using a different portal, namely a vector portal, which allows a small mixing between the dark photon and photon. The dark axion portal could link the two: "The dark axion portal suggests the first meaningful connection between the two physics, which have been studied separately: It connects the dots. This will allow reinterpretation of the previous data, and potentially make a breakthrough in the axion and dark photon searches," explains LEE Hye-Sung, corresponding author of the paper.

Institute for Basic Science

Related Photons Articles:

The multi-colored photons that might change quantum information science
With leading corporations now investing in highly expensive and complex infrastructures to unleash the power of quantum technologies, INRS researchers have achieved a breakthrough in a light-weight photonic system created using on-chip devices and off-the-shelf telecommunications components.
*Ring, Ring* 'Earth? It's space calling, on the quantum line'
In a landmark study, Chinese scientists report the successful transmission of entangled photons between suborbital space and Earth.
Unpolarized single-photon generation with true randomness from diamond
The Tohoku University research group of Professor Keiichi Edamatsu and Postdoctoral fellow Naofumi Abe has demonstrated dynamically and statically unpolarized single-photon generation using diamond.
Solar cell design with over 50 percent energy-conversion efficiency
Solar cells convert the sun's energy into electricity by converting photons into electrons.
'Indistinguishable photons' key to advancing quantum technologies
Indistinguishable photons are critical for quantum information processing, and researchers are tapping nitrogen impurity centers found within gallium arsenide to generate them -- making a significant contribution toward realizing a large number of indistinguishable single-photon sources.
New research into light particles challenges understanding of quantum theory
Scientists have discovered a new mechanism involved in the creation of paired light particles, which could have significant impact on the study of quantum physics.
New portal to unveil the dark sector of the universe
IBS scientists theorize a new portal to peek into the dark world.
Hubble cooperates on galaxy cluster and cosmic background
The events surrounding the Big Bang were so cataclysmic that they left an indelible imprint on the fabric of the cosmos.
Large groups of photons on demand -- an equivalent of photonic 'integrated circuit'
Holographic atomic memory, invented and constructed by physicists from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, is the first device able to generate single photons on demand in groups of several dozen or more.
First step towards photonic quantum network
Advanced photonic nanostructures are well on their way to revolutionizing quantum technology for quantum networks based on light.

Related Photons Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...