Dark Matter colliding with an Argon atom

Dark Matter colliding with an Argon atom

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Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Simplified diagram showing the direct detection of a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP, or dark matter, green), colliding with an argon atom. The collision produces both ionisation (blue) and scintillation (yellow) signals. Experiments using Xenon/Argon, currently searching for WIMPS include; SNOLAB underground laboratory in Sudbury; the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in Spain; the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory in South Dakota; and the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. Dark matter is a type of matter hypothesized in cosmology to account for effects that appear to be the result of mass where no such mass can be seen. Dark matter, theoretically making up 25% of the mass/energy of the universe, cannot be seen or directly detected; evidently it neither emits nor absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation at any significant level.

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Keywords: argon, atom, atomic, collision, dark matter, electromagnetic radiation, electrons, energy, gas, gran sasso, ionisation, light, mass, neutrons, noble gas, nucleus, protons, scintillation, snolab, subatomic, sudbury, universe, wimp, wimps, xenon

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