Does the sun hold a dark secret?

Jul 21, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A scientist at Royal Holloway, University of London believes dark matter is lurking at the centre of the sun and cooling down its core temperature.

The latest study, led by Dr Stephen West from the Department of Physics at Royal Holloway, looks at the possible effects of on the properties of the , if these elusive particles become trapped at its centre.

“Dark matter makes up more than 80 per cent of the total mass of the universe. We know that dark matter exists but to date it has never been produced in a laboratory or directly observed in any experiment, as a result we have very little information about what it actually is. It is important that we examine all possible ways of probing the nature of dark matter and the sun could provide us with an unexpected laboratory in which to do this,” says Dr West.

Dark matter is expected to form a halo around our galaxy and since the sun is in motion around the galaxy it experiences a dark matter "wind" as it moves through this halo. Some of the may collide with the elements in the sun and become gravitationally captured by the sun. This could lead to a build up of dark matter particles at the centre of the sun.

The research team’s simulations show that the effect of this build up is to reduce the temperature of the solar core. The dark matter particles can absorb heat at the core and transfer it out towards the surface, decreasing the temperature of the core. This change in temperature affects the number of produced as by-products in nuclear reactions within the Sun and it is hoped that by examining these neutrinos we can gain information about the Sun's core temperature and whether dark matter plays an important role in . This in turn could provide information about the mass of individual dark matter particles and how they interact with the elements in the sun.

Dr West adds, “The next step in the work is to look more closely at the change in the predicted number of neutrinos produced in the sun as a result of dark matter collecting at the core and to examine the sensitivity of existing neutrino experiments to this change. In addition, an investigation of the possibility of probing this type of dark matter at the Large Hadron Collider is planned. The LHC could provide complimentary information about the properties of dark matter which along with the information from the sun may lead to a clearer picture of one of the more puzzling issues in physics.”

Explore further: Serial time-encoded amplified microscopy for ultrafast imaging based on multi-wavelength laser

More information: To find out more about the Department of Physics visit: www.rhul.ac.uk/Physics/Index.html

Provided by Royal Holloway, University of London

4.2 /5 (23 votes)

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Corban
Jul 21, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
zevkirsh
1.5 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2010
all physicst i know who have considered this over a year ago say that given current mathematical constraints, there is no way the center of the sun could account for dark energy.
Jigga
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 21, 2010
dark matter particles inside the Sun ... can transport heat to the surface in a novel manner.
Actually there are a lotta controversies regarding the (history of) solar thermal flux with respect to ongoing discussion about (origin of) global warming - so I don't expect, physicists could collect sufficiently reliable data for confirmation of dark matter mechanism in such way.
Baseline
3 / 5 (5) Jul 21, 2010
Sigh...now Dark matter in the core of the Sun?

Again with the further claims of "we know dark matter exists".

I suggest a return to the fundamentals because it seems that something basic was misunderstood.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (4) Jul 21, 2010

Jigga -- that is the exact same post you had on a similar topic a few weeks ago, but just for kicks lets examine what you just said.
there are a lotta controversies

really? which ones? Don't you want to enlighten us?
regarding the (history of) solar thermal flux

couple problems -- until you specify what type of flux that clause is just technobabble, do you mean total irradiation or the mechanism for internal heat transfer? However, "the (history of) solar thermal flux" is not being discussed in this article anyway.
with respect to ongoing discussion about (origin of) global warming

Again, this article is not questioning total output of the sun, merely the internal mechanism which allows for it. Also, who's talking about global warming?

fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (4) Jul 21, 2010
so

well that statement makes it obvious that you are trying to form some sort logical conclusion based on the preceding comments, so lets have a look.
I don't expect, physicists

no previous mention of physicists in your supporting claims, unless you think that global warming scientists are the equivalent to the very broad category of physicists, but i don't want to make your argument for you.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (3) Jul 21, 2010
could collect sufficiently reliable data for confirmation of dark matter mechanism

Not supported by any previous statements, unless (and again, i dont really want to make your argument for you...) you mean to say that controversies preclude reliable data collection. But that is obviously not true -- there is a major difference between arguing about the meaning of a data set, and arguing about whether it is a reliable data set.
Am i to believe that because one subset of scientists disagree about one data set, that ALL data sets collected by ALL scientists are invalidated? Really?
fmfbrestel
4 / 5 (5) Jul 21, 2010
in such way.

Huh? in what way? I'm assuming that you are using the word such as a pronoun, but to which "way" are you referring? You have not mentioned any methods what so ever. The only method you could possibly be referencing is the one from the article -- neutrino analysis -- but that has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with past (supposed) controversies on "solar thermal flux" OR the "(origin of) global warming".
Well lets see, I think i have just pointed out major flaws in just about every clause in every sentence of your comment. Care to defend yourself? Nah, probably not 'cause your just a troll.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (5) Jul 21, 2010
This article does not portend to prove dark matter is in the core of the sun. It merely offers up a novel test on the current theory of dark matter -- and the test seems interesting and plausible. If you dont think dark matter exists, I imagine this scientists reply would be something like "well, thats why we should examine the data, so we can base our judgement on something other then intuition."
omatumr
2.2 / 5 (6) Jul 21, 2010
The Sun's "dark secret" was revealed at the 29th Lunar Science Conference in 2001:

"The sun's origin, composition and source of energy", Lunar & Planetary Science XXIX, Paper # 1041, available as 1041-pdf from Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX (CD-ROM, 2001).

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (3) Jul 21, 2010
Actually there are a lotta controversies regarding the (history of) solar thermal flux with respect to ongoing discussion about (origin of) global warming - so I don't expect, physicists could collect sufficiently reliable data for confirmation of dark matter mechanism in such way.

John Cusack is just an actor and 2012 is just a plain old normal year.
fmfbrestel
Jul 21, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Jul 21, 2010
or, citation, i guess... :-) but google quickly retrieves the pdf if anyone wants to read it.
omatumr
1.8 / 5 (4) Jul 21, 2010
Thanks, fmfbrestel.

Links are not allowed here, but Google can find almost any paper.

"The Sun's origin, composition and source of energy" are important because that is the heat source that sustains life here on planet Earth [See "Earth's heat source - the Sun, Energy & Environment 20 (2009) 131-141].

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2010
Regarding the controversies, it can be traced even at Physorg. Deniers of AGW believed, increased solar activity is responsible for GW instead of human - now, when solar activity is low while GW continues, they abandoned this mechanism.

fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2010
oops... anyway, thats my main point -- this has NOTHING to do with increased or decreased solar output merely the mechanism responsible for the output. It is entirely neutral to any GW theory.
specialk0324
3.8 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2010
The article admits we know nothing about dark matter, yet they were able to "simulation the effect of this build up and show it reduces the temperature of the solar core". How does anyone know dark matter "can absorb heat at the core and transfer it out towards the surface, decreasing the temperature of the core"?
Jigga
1.4 / 5 (5) Jul 22, 2010
Well, it's just a theory.

If I understand the subject well, dark matter has nothing to do beneath the surface of massive objects, because of positive curvature of space-time here. It can be observed at the case of large galactic clusters, where dark matter is forming rings, which are surrounding these clusters. And rotational curves of stars at the center of galaxies doesn't exhibit the presence of dark matter, too.
barakn
4.2 / 5 (5) Jul 22, 2010
.. that is the exact same post you had on a similar topic a few weeks ago.
The same topic, the same comment. Anyway, I appreciate, you're not only reading - and remembering - my posts...
A comment made using a different username, so we have an example of a sock puppet outing one of its master's other sockpuppets. So how many sockpuppets does that make, Zephir, or have you lost count?