Is 2013 a new era for physics discoveries?
When it comes to science there is no getting around the fact that it was a pretty spectacular year. From the fantastic landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover to the announcement of the discovery of the long-anticipated Higgs boson it seemed that every day was bringing science geeks something new to be excited about.
Will that continue in 2013?
For scientists around the world, July 4, 2012, is a day that will be remembered for a very long time. It was on that day that a panel of scientists at the Large Haldron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, announced to the world that they had discovered a new particle which they believed to be the much anticipated Higgs boson.
It is this particle that scientists believe is the last piece of the Standard Model of particle physics; which is the theory behind everything we experience in our lives, and this single discovery is thought to end one era of scientific discovery and the beginning of a whole new one. The question is: What will these new discoveries be?
Well for one group of scientists the big buzz word is – dark matter.
What is dark matter?
According to scientists studying the phenomena, dark matter centers around all the matter that scientists can't explain when they account for all the "ordinary" particles that have been discovered on Earth. Astronomers have suggested that the universe has about five time more matter and that the difference between what we know and what we don't yet understand is referred to as 'dark matter'.
In South Dakota scientists have installed the LUX detector which should be the most sensitive detector yet in being able to measure these dark matter particles which they expect to begin collecting data at some point in 2013. Another search for information has scientists looking into space after discovering in 2012 that there was an unusual excess of a particular energy coming from the center of our galaxy. One of the possible explanations for this is that is dark matter particles are colliding and converting into high energy radiation.
Either way it looks like 2013 will continue to bring us exciting new discoveries with the possibility that dark matter will become the next physics discovery to catch the public’s attention.