Scientists have observed many distant objects with instruments such as Hubble and the future James Webb space telescope, but all we have seen is all these stars, nebulae and galaxies are just the apex of an unfathomable iceberg. About 15% of the universe is made up of visible matter, the rest being mysterious dark matter and energy. Scientists still do not know what black matter is, but two theoretical physicists at the University of California at Davis have a new hypothesis and a way to test it.
Researchers John Terning and Christopher Verhaaren presented their work at the recent Planck 2019 conference. A pre-printed version of the document is available for download. The pair began this work to find an alternative to the increasingly unlikely WIMP hypothesis of dark matter. For years, scientists have suspected that dark matter would turn out to be the Low-Interaction Massive Particle (WIM). However, the experiments have not been able to prove it. Scientists have come back to the task of explaining which particles or particles make up a quarter of the universe attributed to dark matter.
According to Terning and Verhaaren, the answer could be a form of "dark magnetism" involving various theoretical particles. In macroscopic applications, magnets always have two poles, but quantum theory predicts the existence of monopolies. These particles have just one "end" of magnet, and Terry and Verhaaren have suggested that dark monopoles can exist and interact with dark photos and dark electrons.
The pair presents a potential method of detecting dark monopoles with an electron beam. Electrons moving in a circle near a monopoly would develop modified wave functions (electrons are both particles and waves in quantum theory). Phase differences when the electron is on different sides of the monopole should create a pattern of interference called Aharonov-Bohm effect. Terning and Verhaaren believe that it should be possible to infer the presence of dark monopoles by the way they shift the electronic phases in passing.
Dark matter is probably still around us, but it may take a little while before we can detect it. The expected phase shift is extremely low and the technology to detect it does not exist yet. The researchers believe we will get there, though. Terning cites the LIGO gravity wave experiment as an example of technology catching up with theory.