Theories about the origin of dark matter in the universe –one of the biggest questions in science–vary from suggesting that it may be older than the Big Bang to particles the size of galaxies to highly-speculative dark-matter life, consistent with the known laws of the universe.
Now, physicists have have announced calculations that indicate that condensates of d-stars are a feasible new candidate for dark matter. “This new result is particularly exciting since it doesn’t require any concepts that are new to physics,” said physicist Daniel Watts at the University of York, about the discovery of a new candidate –a particle called the d-star hexaquark..
This new candidate for the mysterious matter is composed of six quarks—the fundamental particles that usually combine in trios to make up protons and neutrons. Importantly, the six quarks in a d-star result in a boson particle, which means that when many d-stars are present they can combine together in very different ways to the protons and neutrons.
The research group at York suggest that in the conditions shortly after the Big Bang, many d-star hexaquarks could have grouped together as the universe cooled and expanded to form the fifth state of matter—Bose-Einstein condensate.
Dr. Mikhail Bashkanov and Professor Daniel Watts from the the department of physics at the University of York recently published the first assessment of the viability of this new dark matter candidate.
“The next step to establish this new dark matter candidate will be to obtain a better understanding of how the d-stars interact—when do they attract and when do they repel each other,” says co-author of the paper, Bashkanov.. “We are leading new measurements to create d-stars inside an atomic nucleus and see if their properties are different to when they are in free space. ”
Source: M Bashkanov et al, A new possibility for light-quark dark matter, Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics (2020). DOI: 10.1088/1361-6471/ab67e8
The Daily Galaxy, Max Goldberg, via University of York