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Old 07-12-2012, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,069 posts, read 5,694,275 times
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Default ‘DNA tracking chamber’ could detect dark matter

If they're right, dark matter must fill our galaxy and our Solar System. At this very instant, we ought to be ploughing our way through a dense sea of dark matter as the Sun moves towards the constellation of Cygnus as it orbits the galactic centre.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,599 posts, read 11,215,761 times
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There are a few of issues concerning the article:
  • They recently completed a survey of 400 stars within 13,000 light years of Earth and found no indication of dark matter: Survey finds no hint of dark matter near Solar System : Nature News & Comment

    If dark matter permeates the galaxy, as they suggest, its gravitational effects would have been detected. However, that could just mean dark matter is not spread evenly throughout the galaxy, and could be clumped together, which would also form voids. Perhaps the bulk of the dark matter is clumped together around the spiral arms. Since we are located between two of these spiral arms, it maybe that we are unable to detect it. There are a lot of plausible explanations.

  • WIMPs are hypothetical particles, none have ever been detected. They were created as a possible explanation for dark matter. WIMPs are suppose to be similar to a neutrino (which we have detected), but much more massive, therefore slower.

    Therefore, it would be more accurate to describe the device as a WIMP detector. We are not even sure if WIMPs explain the amount of mass we are indirectly detecting through gravitational lensing.

  • Assuming they do detect a WIMP particle, and even determine its direction, this device has no way to measure the particle's mass. However, just detecting a WIMP particle would be a significant achievement in itself.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,069 posts, read 5,694,275 times
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My thinking was that maybe with their new setup, they "might" be able to detect something new.
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