Theoretical predictions help dark matter hunt

dark matter
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new Ph.D. thesis in the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, shows how utilizing tellurium as a detector material can help detect dark matter more effectively than currently used materials. The research also lays a foundation for differentiating between collisions caused by dark matter and neutrinos, the so-called ghost particles, in dark matter detectors using xenon.

In his thesis, MSc Pekka Pirinen investigated ways to detect collisions between dark matter and more effectively. A comprehensive study of collisions between neutrinos and most of the stable xenon nuclei was also performed for the first time using a complete microscopic nuclear framework.

Collisions between dark matter and regular matter would be an excellent source of information on the still-unknown 80 % of all matter in our Universe. Dark matter does not interact with light at all. Its existence has been deduced from surprisingly high rotational speeds of galaxies, among other things.

Tellurium gives a hand for hunting

One of the most popular materials used in dark matter direct detection has in recent years been xenon. Pirinen hints in his dissertation that more effective materials can still be found. The element could be one.

"Based on my calculations it seems that isotope 125 of tellurium is more suitable for dark detection than the most popular current detector . A method to build a detector using tellurium exists, but the problem is that tellurium is quite rare and expensive," says Pirinen.

MSc Pekka Pirinen defends his doctoral dissertation in Physics "Theoretical predictions of WIMP-nucleus and neutrino-nucleus scattering in context of direct detection" on Friday 7.12.2018 at noon 12.00 in the lecture hall FYS1. Opponent professor is Achim Schwenk(TU Darmstadt, Germany) and custos professor Jouni Suhonen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Pekka Pirinen graduated from Minna Canth senior high school in Kuopio in 2009. He started his studies in the department of physics at University of Jyväskylä in fall 2009 and he obtained his master's degree in theoretical physics in 2014. Pirinen began his Ph.D. studies in 2015. The research has been funded by the Magnus Ehrnrooth foundation and the University of Jyväskylä.


Explore further

Dark matter 'hurricane' offers chance to detect axions

More information: Theoretical predictions of wimp-nucleus and neutrino-nucleus scattering in context of dark matter direct detection. urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7619-4
Provided by University of Jyväskylä
Citation: Theoretical predictions help dark matter hunt (2018, December 5) retrieved 24 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-theoretical-dark.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
4 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Dec 05, 2018
Lovely work but, given 'Dark Matter' seems even more elusive than neutrinos, should 'CAN help detect dark matter' better read 'MAY help detect dark matter' ??

Dec 05, 2018
Dark matter is a supersolid that fills 'empty' space, strongly interacts with ordinary matter and is displaced by ordinary matter. What is referred to geometrically as curved spacetime physically exists in nature as the state of displacement of the supersolid dark matter. The state of displacement of the supersolid dark matter is gravity.

The supersolid dark matter displaced by a galaxy pushes back, causing the stars in the outer arms of the galaxy to orbit the galactic center at the rate in which they do.

Displaced supersolid dark matter is curved spacetime.

Dec 05, 2018
An awful lot of articles on dark matter this week...probably due to the large EM and plasma articles of last week.

Are they starting to feel the pinch of not finding anything after so much effort?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more