IIT Guwahati researchers explore mystery of dark matter and neutrinos

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Physicists have speculated about the presence of dark matter in our Universe for ages.
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IIT Guwahati researchers explore mystery of dark matter and neutrinos
IIT Guwahati

IIT Guwahati researchers explore mystery of dark matter and neutrinos

Guwahati: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati have found unique similarities between the nature of dark matter and neutrinos, one of the most abundant particles in the universe.

Published in the leading international journal Physical Review Letters, the team’s findings showed that the origin and production of dark matter was significantly related to the origin of neutrino mass.

A neutrino is a subatomic particle that is very similar to an electron, but has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be zero. Neutrinos are perhaps the most elusive particles.

Professor Arunansu Sil, Department of Physics, IIT Guwahati said,“Though hinted by several astrophysical observations, the lack of any direct evidence of dark matter particles suggests that it has a very feeble interaction with ordinary matter. Our proposal provides a clue to such a miniature interaction by showing that its smallness is connected to the lightness of the neutrino mass (smallest one) which is uniquely predicted to be in the pico electron-volt range.”

The research showed that the lightest right-handed or sterile neutrino provided it exists as a part of a popular neutrino mass generation mechanism, having a mass of order a kilo to a mega electron-volts can be the dark matter candidate.

He added, “The study bridges the three most prominent and long-standing mysteries of particle physics and cosmology within the most minimal extension of the Standard Model which can be falsifiable in ongoing and future experiments.”

Physicists have speculated about the presence of dark matter in our Universe for ages.

Though its existence is inferred from its gravitational effect on visible matter, supposed to make up 27 per cent of the Universe, very little is known about it as no direct evidence in support of dark matter could be found so far indicating it as an exotic type of matter.

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