May 24, 2017 04:12 PM EDT
Astronomers used PICO bubble chamber to search for the weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) as the trace of dark matter. The PICO experiment has begun 12 years ago.
Dark matter is still a big question for physicists and astronomers to comprehend the origin of the universe. Since 2005, physicists and astronomers in Fermilab U.S. National Laboratory had used the PICO bubble chamber to detect the existence of dark matter. The PICO bubble chamber is a collaborative work between the Fermilab and the University of Chicago.
Fermilab has invented the bubble chamber technology in 1952 before the PICO bubble chamber was implemented. The bubble chamber technology is designed to convert the energy deposited by a subatomic particle into a bubble, so scientists can observe the particles. It is because, particle collision practically do not have any noticeable action in the normal liquid form, such as the water at room temperature.
In order to observe the particle collision and increasing the sensitivity of particles, the fluid inside the PICO bubble chamber is heated to above its boiling point. Therefore, a small disruption, even the slightest one could tip the fluid to its boiling state and create the bubble. If the WIMPs exist, they would surely interact with the bubble in the PICO bubble chamber, creating more bubbles every year.
The new re-design of PICO bubble chamber is expected to shed more light on the relationship between the WIMPs and dark matter, which has been observed for decades. In space, the cosmic rays suggested the self-annihilating WIMPs that created dark matter, as reported by Ars Technica. While according to Fermilab, the dark matter makes up of the 85 percent of the mass of the entire universe.
Beside the Fermilab and its PICO bubble chamber, NASA has also been analyzing dark matter in outer space to find the relationship between the dark matter and black holes. Watch the computer simulation from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to track the dark matter particles below:
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