Researchers explore theorized dark photons in connection with dark matter

In their continuing hunt for information on the nature of dark matter, a group of researchers from around the world, led by specialists from the University of Adelaide, have discovered further hints.

The Elder Professor of Physics at the University of Adelaide, Professor Anthony Thomas, stated, "Dark matter makes up 84% of the matter in the universe but we know very little about it."

"The gravitational interactions of dark matter have clearly demonstrated its existence, but despite the greatest efforts of physicists worldwide, its exact nature remains elusive."

"The dark photon, a hypothetical massive particle that might act as a bridge between the dark sector of particles and ordinary matter, may hold the key to unlocking this mystery."

There are five times as much dark matter as normal matter, which is what makes up our physical universe and ourselves. normal matter is far less common than dark matter. Physicists worldwide face one of their biggest challenges: learning more about dark matter.

A hypothesized hidden sector particle known as the "dark photon" is suggested to be related to dark matter and function as a force carrier akin to the photon in electromagnetism. One strategy being used by scientists like Professor Thomas, Professor Martin White, Dr. Xuangong Wang, and Nicholas Hunt-Smith—all of whom are affiliated with the Australian Research Council's (ARC) Center of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics—to obtain additional insights into this elusive yet crucial material is testing current theories regarding dark matter.

Professor Thomas commented, "In our most recent work, we investigate the possible impacts that a dark photon could have on the entire set of experimental results from the deep inelastic scattering process."

The team's results, which were published in the Journal of High Energy Physics, included scientists from the University of Adelaide and associates from the Jefferson Laboratory in Virginia, U.S.

Scientists have solid data on the composition of the subatomic universe and the natural principles regulating it thanks to the analysis of the byproducts produced when particles accelerated to extremely high energy collide.

Deep inelastic scattering is the term given in particle physics to an electron, muon, and neutrino-based procedure that is used to see inside hadrons (especially the baryons, such protons and neutrons).

"To accommodate for the potential of a dark photon, we have modified the underlying theory by using the state-of-the-art Jefferson Lab Angular Momentum (JAM) parton distribution function global analysis framework," explained Professor Thomas.

"Our work provides evidence for a particle discovery, as the dark photon hypothesis is preferred over the standard model hypothesis at a significance of 6.5 sigma."