Astrophysicists and scientists, in general, know very well that dark matter exists and that it’s even a lot more prevalent than normal matter. Roughly 27% of the total mass existing in the Universe consists of dark matter. Dark energy accounts for 68%, while normal matter represents only the remaining 5%.
Therefore, even if scientists have never found dark matter until now, they should surely stumble upon it sooner or later. This elusive form of ‘something,’ as scientists don’t have an idea of what it actually is, must be pretty much everywhere since it represents such a high percentage of the Universe’s mass. That means that searching for dark matter underground is not such a wild idea after all!
Searching for traces of dark matter in a former gold mine
According to Phys.org, some scientists gathered in a titanium tank placed a mile underground to begin their search for traces of dark matter.
The wild idea is that as tanks will block all the “ghost” cosmic rays and particles that can go right through us, dark matter should become an exception. Scientists hope that the device known as the “time projection chamber” will reveal the presence of dark matter as the latter will interact with a xenon nucleus.
Aaron Manalaysay, the experiment physics coordinator, said, as Phys.org quotes:
It is essentially impossible to understand our observation of history, of the evolutionary cosmos without dark matter.
Kevin Lesko, who’s a physicist from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, provided perhaps a more poetical perspective about dark matter by saying, as the same source quotes:
What is this great place I live in? Right now, 95% of it is a mystery.
The search for dark matter already started underground, but it has found nothing in two months of activity. However, the search can last even years, so stay tuned for more news on the subject!