December 14, 2020
Cryogenic detectors do not find evidence for dark matter.
That failure means “back to the drawing board” for theoretical physicists. Since deep cold does not contribute to dark matter discovery, scientists are now using quantum physics in an attempt at building instruments that are more sensitive to their theories.
Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMP) are the chief subatomic candidate for dark matter, although other ideas are beginning to supersede them. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) built a detector that was supposed to “see” WIMPs. It saw nothing, so it was upgraded to the SuperCDMS. SuperCDMS is plagued by false readings from cosmic rays and other ionizing sources. After 15 years, nothing else is colliding with the detector.
The Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX) uses a superconducting magnet. It is thought that axions (another theoretical particle) should “bounce off” its eight Tesla magnetic field. The instrument is plagued by the same problems afflicting SuperCDMS. Signal generating devices create noise that ADMX must filter out. Earth’s magnetic field also fluctuates because of the Sun’s electromagnetic input. Temperature changes are noisy, since heat radiates infrared light. Despite the 4.2 Kelvin cold environment, tuning the detector continues to be impossible.
The Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) uses 368 kilograms of liquid xenon,1.6 kilometers beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota, as a “scintillator”. Photomultiplier tubes that are so sensitive they can detect a single photon surround the tank of xenon in the LUX experiment. No results.
Since solid matter is mostly empty space, dark matter interactions would take place only once in uncounted trillions of trillion atomic nuclei. Thus the need for larger instruments containing more detection materials. According to a recent press release, quantum theory hopes to simplify the process.
Electric Universe theory proposes a different view of the cosmos. Astrophysicist Hannes Alfvén came up with an “electric galaxy” theory as early as 1981. Alfvén said that galaxies are like homopolar motors. A homopolar motor is driven by magnetic fields induced in a circular aluminum plate or some other conductive metal. The metal plate is placed between the poles of an electromagnet, causing it to spin at a rate proportional to the input current.
Galactic discs behave like the plates in those motors. Birkeland currents flow within them, powering their stars. Galaxies are, in turn, powered by intergalactic Birkeland currents that are detectable by their radio signals. Since Birkeland currents are drawn toward each other in a 1√r relationship, dark matter can be dismissed when electric currents flowing through plasma are recognized as an attractive force.
The Thunderbolts Picture of the Day is generously supported by the Mainwaring Archive Foundation.