If there is something that does not make scientists sleep, that is certainly dark matter, a hypothetical type of matter detectable only through its gravitational effects. This is a longstanding puzzle and some researchers may have found a piece of the puzzle: a subatomic particle called d-star hexaquark.
So far dark matter has proved impossible to detect directly, as it is it does not absorb, emit or reflect any type of electromagnetic radiation. However, its effects are clearly visible in the surrounding space and up to 85% of the matter in our Universe could be composed of this mysterious “substance”.
Understanding what dark matter is could tell us a lot about the formation of our universe and its functioning. “The origin of dark matter in the universe is one of the major scientific issues that has so far left a vacuum“, explains the nuclear physicist Daniel Watts of the University of York. “Our first calculations indicate that d-stars condensates are a possible new candidate for dark matter. This new result is particularly exciting since it does not require new concepts for physics.“
THE quarks they are fundamental particles that usually combine in groups of three to form protons and neutrons. Collectively, these three quark particles are called baryons and most of the matter observable in the Universe is made up of this combination. When they combine you are quark, a type of particle called dibaryon or hexaquark is created. According to the team, shortly after the Big Bang, many d-stars hexaquarks could have grouped together as the Universe cooled and expanded to form the fifth state of matter: the Bose-Einstein condensate.
This is obviously a highly theoretical work and there is still much to be done. The team is planning to search for these hexaquark d-stars in space. “We are conducting new measurements to create D stars within an atomic nucleus and see if their properties are different from when they are in free space“he finally says Mikhail Bashkanov, physicist of the University of York.