Is It Possible to Trap Dark Matter? Scientists Want to Create a Trap Using an Underground Detector With Helium

Is It Possible to Trap Dark Matter? Scientists Want to Create a Trap Using an Underground Detector With Helium

This is what scientists want to do to capture the dark matter that makes up most of our universe. To understand the mystery of space, they must descend into the depths of the Earth.

You may have heard of dark matter and dark energy. What are they, and do they really exist? Scientists use these terms to refer to substances in space whose mass is much greater than that of ordinary visible matter and therefore cannot yet be detected. These substances make up the majority of the mass of the universe! Dark matter and dark energy are some of the biggest mysteries that the best minds of humanity are trying to solve.

The international QUEST-DMC project set out to create a technology that would allow dark matter to be trapped using a "trap." In this experiment, scientists want to use superfluid helium-3, a substance that, at temperatures close to absolute zero, enters a superfluid state and can penetrate the smallest pores of ordinary matter. Using helium as a "scalpel," physicists aim to penetrate matter to pick up signals that could be caused by interactions between dark matter particles.

The QUEST-DMC experiment is based on the assumption that the interaction of dark matter particles with the nuclei of helium-3 atoms will generate disturbances that can be recorded. For this method to work, it is necessary to create a detector with the "purest" experimental environment, free from external factors, both present in our world and coming from space. Using super-powerful computers, scientists have searched through billions of scenarios, following the trajectories of cosmic particles and simulating their interactions with the potential detector. It is difficult to even imagine the scale of this research.

After running these simulations, the team realized that to achieve maximum sensitivity, the QUEST-DMC detector would have to be placed deep underground, where thick rock would shield the detector from cosmic radiation. The Bowlby Mine, located in the British county of North Yorkshire at a depth of 1.1 km, was named as one of the suitable locations to continue the experiment. If scientists one day succeed in capturing dark matter particles in this underground detector, we will be closer to unraveling the nature of our universe.