We live in a mysterious Universe Shadowland–most of which we are unable to see. What is it made of, and has its composition changed over time.
The starlit galaxies, galaxy clusters and superclusters are all embedded within invisible halos composed of transparent material that scientists refer to as the “dark matter.” This mysterious substance creates an enormous, invisible structure throughout Space and Time–a fabulous, fantastic tapestry woven of heavy filaments composed of this “dark” stuff, that is thought to be formed from unidentified and exotic non-atomic particles. In March 2020, a team of scientists announced that they have identified a sub-atomic particle that could have formed the dark matter in the Universe during its Big Bang birth.
Scientists think that up to 80% of the Universe could be dark matter, but despite years of investigation, its origin has remained a puzzle.
A team of nuclear physicists at the University of York (U.K.) are now proposing a new particle candidate for this ghostly material–a particle that they recently detected called the d-star hexaquark.
Raise A Quark for Muster Mark Shadowland
The Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941) had a drunken character in Finnegan’s Wake raise a quart of dark beer to toast a man named Finnegan who had just died. He mistakenly said “raise a quark for muster Mark”. The American physicist, Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019), who was one of the scientists who proposed the existence of the quark in 1964, thought it was so funny that he named this sub-particle after the drunken host. The Russian-American physicist, George Zweig, also independently proposed the existence of the quark that same year.
A quark is a type of elementary particle that is a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to create composite particles called hadrons. Hadrons are subatomic particles of a type that includes protons and neutrons, which can take part in the strong interaction that holds atomic nuclei together Shadowland. Indeed, the most stable hadrons are protons and neutrons–the components that form the nuclei of atoms.
Quarks also show certain intrinsic properties, including mass, color, electric charge, and spin.
The heavier quarks quickly experience a metamorphosis into up and down quarks as the result of a process called particle decay. Particle decay refers to the transformation from a higher mass state to lower mass states. For this reason, up and down quarks are stable, as well as the most abundant in the Universe. For every quark flavor there is a corresponding antiquark. The antiquark antiparticle differs from the quark only in certain properties, such as electric charge. The antiquark antiparticles have equal magnitude but an opposite sign Shadowland.
Accelerator experiments have provided evidence for the existence of all six flavors.
The Universe’s Shadowland
Currently, both the origin and nature of the mysterious dark matter and dark energy are unknown. “Ordinary” atomic matter–which is really extraordinary–is comparatively scarce. Nevertheless, it is the material that accounts for all of the elements listed in the familiar Periodic Table. Despite being the tiny “runt” of the cosmic litter of three, “ordinary” atomic matter is what makes up stars, planets, moons, and people–everything that human beings on Earth are most familiar with. It is also the precious form of matter that caused life to form and evolve in the Universe.
Enormous, cavernous, dark, and almost empty Voids interrupt this web-like pattern. The Voids host few galaxies, and this is the reason why they appear to be entirely empty. In dramatic contrast, the massive starlit filaments of the Cosmic Web weave themselves around these almost-empty Voids, creating a fabulous, complicated, braided knot.
Enter The d-Star Hexaquark
These fundamental particles normally combine in trios to form the protons and neutrons of the atomic nucleus. Most importantly, the six quarks in a d-star hexaquark create a boson particle. This indicates that when a large number of d-star hexaquarks are present that can dance together and combine in very different ways to the protons and neutrons. A boson is a particle that carries energy. For example, photons are bosons.
The team of scientists at the University of York propose that in the conditions that existed. Shortly after the Big Bang, a multitude of d-star hexaquarks could have met up and then. Combined as the Universe cooled down from its original extremely. Hot state and then expanded to give rise to a fifth state of matter–what is termed a Bose-Einstein Condensate.
Dr. Mikhail Bashkanov and Dr. Daniel Watts from the Department of Physics at the University of York. Published the first assessment of the viability of this new dark matter candidate.
Dr. Watts noted in a March 3, 2020 University of York Press Release that “The origin of dark matter in the Universe is one of the biggest questions in science and one that, until now, has drawn a blank.”
“Our first calculations indicate that condensation of d-stars are a feasible new candidate for dark matter and this new possibility seems worthy of further, more detailed investigation,” he added.
“The result is particularly exciting since it doesn’t require any concepts that are new to physics,” Dr. Watts continued to comment.
Co-author, Dr. Bashkanov, explained in the same University of York Press Release. The next step to establish this new dark matter candidate. Will be to obtain a better understanding of how the d-stars interact. When do they attract and when do they repel each other. We are teaching new measurements to create d-stars inside. Atomic nucleus and see if their properties are different to when they are in free spae.”
The scientists are planning now to collaborate with. Researchers in Germany and the United States to test their new theory of. Dark matter and hunt for d-star hexaquarks in the Universe.
Judith E. Brafman-Miller is a writer and astronomer whose articles published since 1981 in various journals, magazines, and newspapers. Although she has written on a variety of topics. She particularly loves writing about astronomy because it gives. Opportunity to communicate to others some of the many wonders of her field. Her first book, “Wisps, Ashes, and Smoke,” published soon.