What is Dark Matter?

Dark matter is a hypothetical substance said to make up roughly 27 per cent of the universe.

What is Dark Matter ?
Dark matter is a hypothetical substance said to make up roughly 27 per cent of the universe. It is thought to be the gravitational 'glue' that holds the galaxies together
Dark matter is a hypothetical substance said to make up roughly 27 per cent of the universe.
The enigmatic material is invisible because it does not reflect light, and has never been directly observed by scientists.
Astronomers know it to be out there because of its gravitational effects on known matter.
The European Space Agency says: 'Shine a torch in a completely dark room, and you will see only what the torch illuminates.
'That does not mean that the room around you does not exist.
'Similarly we know dark matter exists but have never observed it directly.'
The material is thought to be the gravitational 'glue' that holds the galaxies together.
Just five per cent the observable universe consists of known matter such as atoms and subatomic particles.
The Positron Annihilation into Dark Matter Experiment, or Padme for short, will record what happens when antimatter particles called positrons are fired into a fragment of diamond just a tenth of a millimetre thick.
When positrons hit the diamond, they merge with its electrons, releasing two particles of light called photons in a burst of energy.
If the theorised dark force exists, then instead of producing two visible photons, the experiment will only release one regular light particle
The other will be a so-called dark photon that is invisible to the experiment's instruments.
This hypothetical particle is the dark sector's equivalent to a photon, and will be measured by comparing the energy and direction of photons fired in, with whatever comes out.
By measuring the energy of dark photons, scientists can figure out their mass, which the scientists predict is around 50 times that of an electron.
Knowing the mass of the dark photon, if it exists, would allow scientists to figure out what particles it breaks down into, providing a first look at the dark sector.
Other laboratories around the world are also looking for dark photons. Bryan McKinnon, a research fellow at Glasgow University, is involved in the search for the particle at the Thomas Jefferson national accelerator facility in Virginia.
'The dark photon, if it exists, is effectively a portal,' said Glasgow University research fellow Dr Bryan McKinnon, who is not involved in the research.
'It lets us peer into the dark sector to see what is happening. It won't open the floodgates, but it will allow us to have a little look.'

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Scien-Tech News: What is Dark Matter?
What is Dark Matter?
Dark matter is a hypothetical substance said to make up roughly 27 per cent of the universe.
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