Science

A mysterious anomaly has been found: it could be an elusive dark matter particle

Physicists have discovered a strange gap between theoretical predictions and the actual results of a major project. According to them, this may be a sign of an elusive “sterile” neutrino.

Magnetic or gravity field visualization. Abstract arrows array backdrop

A sterile neutrino is so quiet that it can only be detected by the silence it leaves behind.

Previously, this anomaly has already been observed. Now it has been rediscovered during the Baksan Experiment on Sterile Transitions (BEST).

If it is confirmed that it really was a sterile neutrino, then it can become a potential candidate for the source of dark matter in the universe.

On the other hand, anomalies can be explained by the presence of a problem in the models that were used to describe the behavior of neutrinos.

“The results are very exciting! They confirm that the previous anomaly was not a mistake. On the other hand, everything is not completely obvious. Now there are conflicting results about sterile neutrinos. For example, according to one of them, fundamental nuclear and atomic physics are interpreted incorrectly,” says Steve Elliott, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Neutrinos are among the most common particles in the universe, but they are difficult to catch.  They have almost no mass, no electric charge: they can be traced only by the weak nuclear interaction.

If the anomaly that physicists observed is really a sterile neutrino, then finally scientists would have evidence that there are many particles, but they only affect gravity.


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