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Disney's "Frozen" inspired a new attempt to find dark matter



Do you want to build a snowball room?

Physicists are not often inspired by Disney's musicals to design new experiments, but a team determined to detect dark matter says that's what it did.

Find dark matter – it's the elusive, invisible Things this is the essence of matter in the universe – scientists have built gigantic devices, deep underground probes and tiny floating beads. Now, apparently, they are also turning to children's movies.

Matthew Szydagis, a researcher at SUNY Albany, was forced to study the properties of supercooled water after watching YouTube videos of people playing with, according to a press release issued by the American Physical Society, "especially when he saw it again in the movie" Frozen. " "

The cold of space never bothered me anyway

The idea is to look for ice pieces the size of a particle in small supercooled water bubbles.

"All my work is motivated by the search for dark matter, a form of matter that we are sure exists, because we can observe the indirect gravitational effects," Szydagis said in a press release. "This represents a significant fraction of the universe, but we have not yet found any direct, conclusive, and unambiguous evidence within the lab."

Szydagis searches for dark matter using supercooled water, which can be stored in liquid form below the usual freezing temperature of water, provided it is in a sealed vacuum container. He presented his work, shared for the first time online last year, at a meeting of the American Physical Society on Sunday.

Subatomic particles are worth melting

In particular, the Szydagis team learned that neutrons freeze supercooled water when they collide, which led scientists to assume that they would have a new method for detecting dark matter, supposed to have similarities with neutrons.

They have not identified any dark matter yet, as their research was solely to demonstrate that a supercooled water chamber could act as a subatomic particle detector. But future projects can use their design in a real search for the substance.

READ MORE: 'Snowball Chamber' helps researchers use supercooled water to search for dark matter[Sociétéaméricainedephysiquevia[AmericanPhysicalSocietyvia[Sociétéaméricainedephysiquevia[AmericanPhysicalSocietyviaPhys.org]

More on dark matter: An Oxford scientist may have solved the mystery of dark matter


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