Dark matter could transfer energy in the Sun

December 1, 2010
This is the Sun, picked up from the space telescope Hinode X-ray. Credit: Hinode JAXA/NASA/PPARC

Researchers from the Institute for Corpuscular Physics (IFIC) and other European groups have studied the effects of the presence of dark matter in the Sun. According to their calculations, low mass dark matter particles could be transferring energy from the core to the external parts of the Sun, which would affect the quantity of neutrinos that reach the Earth.

"We assume that the interact weakly with the Sun's atoms, and what we have done is calculate at what level these interactions can occur, in order to better describe the structure and evolution of the Sun", Marco Taoso, researcher at the IFIC, a combined centre of the Spanish National Research Council and the University of Valencia, explains to SINC.

The astrophysical observations suggest that our galaxy is situated in a halo of dark matter particles. According to the models, some of these particles, the WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) interact weakly with other normal ones, such as atoms, and could be building up on the inside of stars. The study, recently published in the journal Physical Review D, carries out an in-depth study of the case of the Sun in particular.

"When the WIMPs pass through the Sun they can break up the atoms of our star and lose energy. This prevents them from escaping the gravitational force of the Sun which captures them, and they become trapped, orbiting inside it, with no way of escaping", the researcher points out.

The dark matter cools down the Sun's core

Scientists believe that the majority of the dark matter particles gather together in the centre of the Sun, but in their elliptic orbits they also travel to the outer part, interacting and exchanging with the solar atoms. In this way, the WIMPs transport the energy from the burning central core to the cooler peripheral parts.

"This effect produces a cooling down of the core, the region from where the neutrinos originate due to the nuclear reactions of the Sun", Taoso points out. "And this corresponds to a reduction in the flux of solar neutrinos, since these depend greatly on the temperature of the core".

The neutrinos that reach the Earth can be measured by means of different techniques. These data can be used to detect the modifications of the solar temperature caused by the WIMPs. The transport of energy by these particles depends on the likelihood of them interacting with the atoms, and the "size" of these interactions is related to the reduction in the neutrino flux.

"As a result, current data about solar neutrinos can be used to put limits on the extent of the interactions between dark matter and , and using numerical codes we have proved that certain values correspond to a reduction in the flux of solar neutrinos and clash with the measurements", the scientist reveals.

The team has applied their calculations to better understand the effects of low mass particles (between 4 and 10 gigaelectronvolts). At this level we find models that attempt to explain the results of experiments such as DAMA (beneath an Italian mountain) or CoGent (in a mine in the USA), which look for dark material using "scintillators" or WIMP detectors.

Debate about WIMP and solar composition

This year another study by scientists from Oxford University (United Kingdom) also appeared. It states that WIMPs not only reduce the fluxes of solar , but also, furthermore, modify the structure of the Sun and can explain its composition.

"Our calculations, however, show that the modifications of the star's structure are too small to support this claim and that the cannot explain the problem of the composition of the ", Taoso concludes.

Explore further: New Limits on the Origin of Dark Matter

More information: Marco Taoso, Fabio Iocco, Georges Meynet, Gianfranco Bertone y Patrick Eggenberger. "Effect of low mass dark matter particles on the Sun". Physical Review D 82 (8), Oct 2010. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.82.083509

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11 comments

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gwrede
2.9 / 5 (9) Dec 01, 2010
Sigh. Am I just tired, or does this sound like what Omaturm could have written?
jscroft
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2010
sstritt
1 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2010
Photino birds? http://en.wikiped...no_birds

Funny, I'm a Baxter fan too and that was my first thought!
Burnerjack
2.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2010
More kool aid anyone?
Pyle
2 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2010
My favorite part of this article is the photo to get us in the mood for a dark matter sun. Awesome!

Got any Blue Mountain Berry?
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (10) Dec 01, 2010
I don't believe in special WIMP particles, but my opinion is, every star can behave like tiny neutron star, emanating neutrinos from its dense core in invisible jets, which are cold remnants of its former wild activity in form of pulsar. The gamma ray radiation bubbles, which were found recently above and bellow galactic plane of Milky way are stuff of the same category - just at larger scale.

So far I know only about one evidence of this hypothesis: a variable decay speed of radioactive elements, which changes in accordance to the rotational period of Sun core. My idea is, Sun is surrounded with dense cloud of primordial antineutrinos, which are accelerating speed of decay of radioactive elements. The solar neutrino jets are sweeping this sparse antimatter coat like double fountain and they're decreasing the speed of radioactive decay periodically.
KwasniczJ
1.3 / 5 (12) Dec 01, 2010
Am I just tired, or does this sound like what Omaturm could have written?

I don't believe, the Sun is powered with repulsive force of neutrinos, because if neutrons are repulsing mutually, this force would be in equilibrium with gravity already. But what we know for sure, the source of solar neutrinos is small volume area at the core of Sun, where the conditions could be rather similar to the conditions at the surface of neutron star.

http://www-sk.icr...o-e.html

The neutrinos are emanated in polar direction preferably due the mechanism, which is known as so-called gravitational brightening. And because this core is very dense, it could rotate independently to the rest of solar plasma - after all, in the similar way, like the Earth core. It means, Omaturm's ideas could be explained with existing physics.
StarGazer2011
1.8 / 5 (10) Dec 01, 2010
this is getting stupid, clearly 'dark matter' has about as much scientific credibility left as CAGW, and the people earning a living from it are getting just as desperate.
If WIMPS are 'weakly interacting' how do they transfer energy with normal matter? What a dumb concept, it completely contradicts their required properties.
Also, if WIMPs had been quietly accumulating in all stars in the universe since the big bang, surely that would cause a discrepency between models of stellar evolution predicted without DM and those observed!
The only thing you can say about DM is that it has not necessarily been falsified by the data (in a modal logic sense), but the writing is on the wall.
jcamjr
5 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2010
Maybe the Xeelee will save us!
vidar_lund
3 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2010
How can WIMPs be so hard to detect if they are trapped by normal matter in the sun and interacting to such a degree as to act as a key heat sink for the core?

Another issue is the additional mass. If the sun has accumulated enough WIMPs for them to have such an important role in the core one would assume that huge amounts are needed. I don't know the numbers but wouldn't all these additional heavy WIMPs greatly increase the mass of the sun? To an extent that would have been observed by now?
A2G
1 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2010
Einstein didn't did of natural causes..He killed himself so he wouldn't have to be around to hear all this BS. My God, what has science become?

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