Prototype `developed to detect dark matter`

Last Updated: Saturday, September 26, 2009 - 12:56

London: Scientists have developed what
they claim is a "scintillating bolometer" -- a device that may
help in the detection of dark matter of the universe.

The bolometer has been tested at Canfranc Underground
Laboratory in Huesca, Spain.

"One of the biggest challenges in physics today is to
discover the true nature of dark matter which cant be directly
observed -- even though it seems to make up one-quarter of the
matter of the Universe.

"So we have to attempt to detect it using prototypes
such as the one we have developed," Eduardo García Abancéns, a
researcher from the UNIZAR`s Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and
Astroparticles, said.

The "scintillating bolometer" is a 46-gram device that
contains a crystal "scintillator", made up of bismuth,
germinate and oxygen which acts as a dark matter detector.

"This detection technique is based on the simultaneous
measurement of the light and heat produced by the interaction
between the detector and the hypothetical WIMPs (Weakly
Interacting Massive Particles) which, according to various
theoretical models, explain the existence of dark matter",
explains García Abancéns.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, September 26, 2009 - 12:56

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