The physicists who run the world’s most sensitive experimental search for dark matter have seen something strange.
They have uncovered an unexpected excess of events inside their detector that could fit the profile of a hypothetical dark matter particle called an axion. Alternately, the data could be explained by novel properties of neutrinos.
“If this turns out to be a new particle, then it’s a breakthrough we have been waiting for for the last 40 years,” said Adam Falkowski, a particle physicist at Paris-Saclay University in France who was not involved in the experiment. “You cannot overstate the importance of the discovery, if this is real.”
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