“There’s something we just don’t understand about the internal structure of how the universe works,” said Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, an associate professor of physics at Northwestern and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, reacting to what astronomers think may be the first real signal from the “dark universe.”
“There is really no conclusion to be drawn at this point, other than mounting suspense,” says Juan Collar, a physicist at the University of Chicago who has worked on several dark-matter experiments about the fact that for more than two decades, only one experiment in the world has consistently reported detecting a signal of dark matter — the missing mass of the cosmos that physicists have long tried to identify. “But the instruments seem to have sufficient sensitivity to give conclusive results soon,” Collar adds.
“This study may be the “smoking gun” evidence that takes us a step closer to understanding what dark matter is,” says co-author Matthew Walker, an astrophysicist at Carnegie Mellon University. “Our finding that it can be heated up and moved around helps to motivate searches for a dark matter particle.”