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  • richardmitnick 1:39 pm on March 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Eocene greenhouse", "Fossil forests under Antarctic ice", Antarctic fossil leaves are evidence of a once vegetated landmass., , Cenozoic Era, PETM-Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Supercontinent Gondwana, Swedish South Polar Expedition in 1901, University of Leeds(UK), University of Melbourne (AU)   

    From University of Melbourne (AU): “Fossil forests under Antarctic ice” 

    u-melbourne-bloc

    From University of Melbourne (AU)

    10 March 2021
    Dr Anne-Marie Tosolin,
    University of Melbourne

    Professor David Cantrill
    National Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens
    University of Melbourne

    In around 1833 the first specimens of fossilised wood from Antarctica were reported by surgeon, naturalist and artist James Eights.

    We now know that fossils are, in fact, abundant in Antarctica, and the most common are of wood and leaves. They are evidence of what is called the “Antarctic Paradox” –how can forests be preserved on a continent that experiences temperatures as low as -83 °C and is covered in thick ice sheets?

    1
    The supercontinent “Gondwana” was covered in forests before breaking up into what we now know as Australia, Antarctica and South America. Credit: Getty Images.

    Forests once stretched from Australia through Antarctica to South America, all three of which are remnants of the ancient Southern Hemisphere supercontinent Gondwana.

    2
    Gondwana at 420 Ma. View centred on the South Pole. Credit: Fama Clamosa

    Working with University of Leeds(UK) and the British Antarctic Survey, we intended to seek out the best-preserved fossil leaves in the east Antarctic Peninsula from the late Paleocene epoch. That is about 56 million years ago, a time following the end Cretaceous era 66 million years ago and the infamous extinction of the dinosaurs.

    We sought fossil leaves that have been trapped within layers of sedimentary rock, remaining untouched for millions of years.

    FOSSILISED FORESTS

    These plant fossils have been little studied since first collections were made by Otto von Nordenskjöld and the Swedish South Polar Expedition in 1901, a decade before Amundsen beat Scott in the race for the South Pole in the Arctic.

    These Antarctic fossil leaves are evidence of a once vegetated landmass. They are like thermometers, diligently recording through time changes in Earth’s climate at Southern high latitudes.

    The Paleocene was a time that experienced rapid warming, leading into the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM in Figure 1) that saw a dramatic temperature increase of 8°C over 10,000 years, a mere blink of an eye in geological time.

    This was followed by the warmest time of the Cenozoic Era, during a period known as the “Eocene greenhouse”, before Earth cooled and the ice caps first formed approximately 34 million years ago, caused by the break-up of Gondwana.

    2
    Figure 1: The Geological Time Scale or Geochronological scale, shows the evolution of life on Earth from the first single-celled organisms, 3.6 million years ago, to humans today. After the extinction of the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago (black), the following Cenozoic Era has been divided into three periods: Paleogene, Neogene and Quaternary. The Paleogene is further subdivided into three epochs: Paleocene (P), Eocene (E) as described in the article and Oligocene. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; red) preceded maximum warming in the Eocene greenhouse and was followed by glaciation (blue).

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum is a fascinating time and one of the most dramatic and rapid warming events in Earth’s history. Although it pales in comparison to the rate of modern, human-induced warming, it is possibly our best analogue for Earth’s future climate.

    By studying fossil plants, we can learn about what drove Earth’s past climate change and about how living organisms responded to dramatic warming events, the knowledge of which can help us to mitigate against future climate change.

    ANTARCTIC JOURNEY

    In order to gather further specimens, in 2001 our research trip sailed for three days from the Falkland Islands to Seymour Island in the Weddell Sea, near the end of the Antarctic Peninsula. We sailed on the British Navy ship, HMS Endurance, whose namesake was crushed in 1915 in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea on Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition.

    We travelled across the most treacherous stretch of water in the world, the Drake’s Passage, followed by helicopter deployment into our camp in Scott-style tents, to begin our two-month search for fossils.

    Together with Dame Professor Jane Francis from the British Antarctic Survey and with the help of our mountaineer, Robert Smith, we endured quad bikes bogged in mud, extreme 100 knot winds that constantly beat against our tents during a three-day blizzard, and were nearly stranded on Seymour Island for the entire winter when the sea ice choked the ship’s passage through the Antarctic Sound between Elephant Island and the main peninsula.

    Eventually, the journey was successful, and our new paper describes different fossil leaves (called taxa or forms) that we collected from Seymour Island, to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula. They are evidence that extensive forests grew at high latitudes during the late Paleocene (around 58–56 million years ago).

    3
    A fossil leaf impression (scale bar = 1 cm), showing venation and the entire-margin, from best-preserved, Paleocene-aged floras of the Antarctic Peninsula that were used in this study to show a surprising increase in known diversity. Picture: Supplied.

    SURPRISING DIVERSITY IN PALEOCENE ANTARCTIC FLORA

    These beautiful impressions of leaves, preserved in fine-grained sandstones and siltstones, are the best-preserved Antarctic Peninsula flora from the Paleocene. They show significant diversity of leaf architecture – shape, size, patterns of leaf veins – despite growing in the polar region, where low angles of light are experienced during winter.

    The fossil leaves record a much greater floral diversity than previously known to occur within the Antarctic Paleocene forests, in contrast to previous fossil wood records. They represent a cool to warm temperate with mixed conifer‑broad leaved evergreen and deciduous forests.

    Although there are no modern, comparable species to help us understand the ecology of these Antarctic forests, the closest we can find today are the southern Patagonian forests in South America.

    These modern “Valdivian” forests are characterised by ‘Southern Beech’ (Nothofagus) and other leaves with tooth-margined edges, such as Cunoniaceae (which includes Tasmanian leatherwood), and Proteaceae (e.g., tree Lomatia), so the diversity of entire-margined (or smooth-edged) leaves in the Paleocene forests was unexpected.

    Interestingly, the Paleocene fossil forests on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula are markedly different to those found on the west side.

    Previous work of Cantrill [Annals of Botany] and others has suggested this is likely due to the volcanoes that form the spine of the Antarctic Peninsula, causing a rain shadow on the east flanks, or perhaps differences in altitude between the forests growing on the volcanic mountain flanks.

    After studying these fossil leaves, we know more about the diversity and ecology of ancient forests that grew across Antarctica, and both climatic and local influences on these forests when Earth experienced warmer climates before the planet cooled and the ice caps grew.

    4
    Sandstones and siltstones from the upper part of the Cross Valley Formation, Seymour Island Group, Antarctica, that host the leaf impressions fossils used in this study. Picture: Supplied.

    Many plant groups that are considered unique to Australia occurred in South America at this time, such as Eucalyptus, the iconic gum trees.

    Gondwanan floral remnants, such as Southern Beech (Nothofagus) flowering trees, large kauri- and bunya-type conifers (Araucariaceae) and plum pines (Podocarpaceae), are just some of the groups that occur in the cool and warm temperate forests that we see growing today in Tasmania, Victoria, South East Australia, in New Zealand and in Patagonia in southern South America.

    We have previously published data that determined what the climate was like in the deep past by analysing the leaf architecture. Leaf margins together with other key leaf characters indicate mean annual temperatures of 12.5 to 14.5 °C and high rainfall (2110 mm annually) for these polar forests that is on a par with these areas today.

    Exchange, and migration of many species must have occurred across Antarctica during the Paleocene, which acted as a gateway for interchange between South American and Australasian floras, increasing our understanding of the origin and evolution of modern Southern Hemisphere floras.

    Our further research will focus on the diversity, modern relationships and floral evolution of the tooth-margin leaves that helped us to determine the mean annual temperatures of these high latitude forests at this crucial time of rapid warming.

    Our data feeds into modelling to understand complex interactions of atmosphere, oceans and lifeforms of the past, that are in turn used to model predictions of future climates.

    We hope to find relics of Gondwana, including the Proteaceae and Nothofagaceae, to gain insights into floral exchange across the wide-spread southern continents and the evolution of modern floras.

    But we also hope that these precious fossil leaves, frozen in time under Antarctic ice, will deliver yet further surprises.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-melbourne-campus

    The University of Melbourne (AU) is an Australian public research university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is Australia’s second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Times Higher Education ranks Melbourne as 33rd in the world, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities places Melbourne 44th in the world (both first in Australia).

    Melbourne’s main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of the Melbourne central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria. Melbourne is a sandstone university and a member of the Group of Eight, Universitas 21 and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Since 1872 various residential colleges have become affiliated with the university. There are 12 colleges located on the main campus and in nearby suburbs offering academic, sporting and cultural programs alongside accommodation for Melbourne students and faculty.

    Melbourne comprises 11 separate academic units and is associated with numerous institutes and research centres, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and the Grattan Institute. Amongst Melbourne’s 15 graduate schools the Melbourne Business School, the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Medical School are particularly well regarded.

    Four Australian prime ministers and five governors-general have graduated from Melbourne. Nine Nobel laureates have been students or faculty, the most of any Australian university.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:27 pm on December 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Exploring the most unknown universe", , , , , , Dark matter experiments way underground., , University of Melbourne (AU)   

    From University of Melbourne (AU): “Exploring the most unknown universe” 

    u-melbourne-bloc

    From University of Melbourne (AU)

    22 December 2020

    1
    We have powerful telescopes that can see very old galaxies and the beginnings of new ones. Credit: NASA.

    We know how the universe began, yet the data we have amassed in both particle physics and astronomy tells us that we still only know about a tiny fraction of the universe.

    Looking at the sky, we observe that on the largest scales, matter is organised into galaxies and clusters of galaxies.

    Galaxies contain stars, planets and gases. All the visible universe – the Earth, Sun, stars and galaxies, everything that makes ‘us’ – is made of protons, neutrons and electrons bundled together into atoms.

    Physicists have developed an impressive body of knowledge about the fundamental particles and forces that characterise the ordinary matter around us.

    Centuries of discovery have shown that apples fall from trees for the same reason that the Earth orbits the Sun, and that the Earth is not at the centre of the universe.

    It is a simple and elegant picture.

    The quest to answer the most basic questions about the universe has reached a singular moment. Astrophysical and cosmological observations have revealed that our picture of the universe is incomplete.

    2
    Dark matter’s fingerprints appear only when we look to the sky at the galactic and super-galactic scales. Picture: Getty Images.

    Perhaps one of the most surprising discoveries of the twentieth century was that ordinary matter makes up less than five per cent of the mass of the universe.

    The rest of the universe appears to be made of a mysterious, invisible substance named Dark Matter (25 per cent), and a force that repels gravity known as Dark Energy (70 per cent).

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.

    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.

    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).


    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970. https://home.dtm.ciw.edu.

    The Vera C. Rubin Observatory currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    LSST Data Journey, Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova.

    Dark Energy Survey


    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL


    NOAO/CTIO Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile, housing DECam at an altitude of 7200 feet

    Timeline of the Inflationary Universe WMAP

    The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an international, collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our Universe. DES began searching the Southern skies on August 31, 2013.

    According to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, gravity should lead to a slowing of the cosmic expansion. Yet, in 1998, two teams of astronomers studying distant supernovae made the remarkable discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. To explain cosmic acceleration, cosmologists are faced with two possibilities: either 70% of the universe exists in an exotic form, now called dark energy, that exhibits a gravitational force opposite to the attractive gravity of ordinary matter, or General Relativity must be replaced by a new theory of gravity on cosmic scales.

    DES is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia are working on the project. The collaboration built and is using an extremely sensitive 570-Megapixel digital camera, DECam, mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, high in the Chilean Andes, to carry out the project.

    Over six years (2013-2019), the DES collaboration used 758 nights of observation to carry out a deep, wide-area survey to record information from 300 million galaxies that are billions of light-years from Earth. The survey imaged 5000 square degrees of the southern sky in five optical filters to obtain detailed information about each galaxy. A fraction of the survey time is used to observe smaller patches of sky roughly once a week to discover and study thousands of supernovae and other astrophysical transients.

    The exotic unknown substance named dark matter doesn’t appear to absorb, reflect or emit light, rendering it ‘invisible’.

    Since dark matter interacts very weakly with normal matter, its existence is inferred due to its gravitational effects on galaxies. Its fingerprints appear only when we look to the sky at the galactic and super-galactic scales, at about 10 million times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

    According to physics, stars at the edges of a spinning, spiral galaxy should travel much more slowly than those near the galactic centre, where a galaxy’s visible matter is concentrated. But our observations show that stars orbit at almost the same speed regardless of their distance from the centre of the galaxy.

    This puzzling result only makes sense if we assume that the boundary stars are feeling the gravitational effects of an unseen mass, a halo of dark matter enveloping the galaxy.

    Caterpillar Project A Milky-Way-size dark-matter halo and its subhalos circled, an enormous suite of simulations . Griffen et al. 2016.

    The existence of dark matter could also explain some optical illusions that astronomers see in the deep universe. For example, there are pictures displaying strange rings and arcs of light.

    3
    Installation view of Alicja Kwade’s work WeltenLinie 2020 on display in NGV Triennial 2020 from 19 December 2020 – 18 April 2021 at NGV International, Melbourne © Alicja Kwade, courtesy König Galerie, Berlin. Credit: Tom Ross.

    These can be explained if the light from distant galaxies is distorted and magnified by massive, invisible clouds of dark matter, in a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

    The radical conclusion that the universe is filled with invisible and nearly undetectable matter can be compared to Copernicus’s identification that the Earth is not the centre of the solar system – we have established that we don’t know what most of the universe is made of.

    Just like ordinary matter, dark matter also originated from the big bang.

    The amount of dark matter produced in the big bang has influenced the evolution of our universe.

    Similar to ordinary matter, dark matter isn’t distributed across the universe evenly. Areas of the universe that had slightly more dark matter, and so more gravitational pull, attracted more matter, leading to the creation of the first stars and galaxies.

    The cosmic web we observe today is a snapshot of the dark matter distribution in the early universe – this mysterious dark matter acted as a hidden hand guiding the growth of galaxies.

    Exploration of this unknown ‘new’ universe necessitates the discovery of the laws of physics underpinning the fundamental particle nature of dark matter. While astrophysical observations study the macroscopic properties of the universe to infer the existence of dark matter, terrestrial physics experiments are essential to study its quantum properties and consequently the fundamental laws of nature associated to dark matter.

    4
    The only way to detect dark matter collisions is to place our discovery machines deep underground. Picture: Supplied.

    One leading hypothesis is that dark matter is made up of exotic particles that don’t interact much with ordinary matter but are massive and therefore exert a gravitational pull.

    Under this assumption, we can derive some of the characteristics of dark matter.

    Cosmological measurements indicate that it is ‘cold’ – that is, the dark matter particles are heavy and move around the galaxy very slowly, much slower than the speed of light.

    Dark matter very rarely interacts with normal matter and is invisible to light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation, making it impossible to detect with current instruments. To build scientific instruments in order to ‘see’ dark matter, we need to hypothesise about what dark matter is.

    Most dark matter has probably been in existence since the first instant of the universe, outdating all atoms that make up visible matter. Earth is perpetually flying through a diffuse cloud of this mysterious substance.

    We face a constant shower of dark matter particles – every second, hundreds of thousands of dark matter particles zip through our bodies. However, dark matter particles interact so weakly that they pass right through us, leaving almost no sign of their visit.

    Looking at the density of dark matter throughout the universe, scientists calculate that of the thousands of dark matter particles passing through a human body every second, only about a dozen of them will collide with atoms in the body each year.

    6
    Installation view of Alicja Kwade’s work WeltenLinie 2020 on display in NGV Triennial 2020 from 19 December 2020 – 18 April 2021 at NGV International, Melbourne © Alicja Kwade, courtesy König Galerie, Berlin. Credit: Tom Ross.

    We cannot say what dark matter is until we can study it in a terrestrial laboratory. However, our very limited knowledge about the particle nature of dark matter makes building machines to discover it very challenging.

    That is an adventure on its own.

    Sometimes, very rarely indeed, a dark matter particle will collide with the nucleus of an atom, which can be detected in carefully designed direct detection experiments.

    The expected number of collisions of massive dark matter particles with nuclei of suitable detector materials is very small – less than one collision a year per kilogram of material.

    These collisions are so rare that on the Earth’s surface they are drowned out by the billions of cosmic ray–induced collisions that occur in the same kilogram of material each day.

    Looking for the signal produced by dark matter collisions is therefore like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    The only way to reduce the cosmic ray–induced collisions to a level where dark matter collisions are detectable is to place our discovery machines in deep underground sites where we can use the overlying rock layers (or ‘overburden’) as a shield against cosmic ray radiation.

    DEAP Dark Matter detector, The DEAP-3600, suspended in the SNOLAB (CA) deep in Sudbury’s Creighton Mine

    LBNL LZ Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA.

    Edelweiss Dark Matter Experiment, located at the Modane Underground Laboratory in France

    DAMA LIBRA Dark Matter Experiment, 1.5 km beneath Italy’s Gran Sasso mountain located in the Abruzzo region of central Italy.

    U Washington Lux Dark Matter 2 at SURF, Lead, SD, USA

    About one kilometre underground, far from the cosmic ray–induced particles, our discovery machines are waiting to catch dalliances of these elusive cosmic messengers with ordinary matter. From the depths of a mine shielded from cosmic rays, we can get a glimpse of one of the deepest mysteries of the universe.

    Experimental particle physics allows humankind to explore the secret of the universe at its fundamental level and to build machines that will enable this exploration.

    We have come to understand the fundamental building blocks of ordinary matter, and what we know of the universe is only a tiny fraction of what is out there.

    We know only five per cent of the universe. The remaining 95 per cent is still a mystery – an unknown universe of new particles and forces awaits discovery.

    Even if these unknown particles and forces are, at present, invisible to us, they have shaped the universe as we see it today. We are taking part in not only a scientific revolution, but also a revolution in how human beings see the universe.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-melbourne-campus

    The University of Melbourne (AU) (informally Melbourne University) is an Australian public research university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is Australia’s second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Times Higher Education ranks Melbourne as 33rd in the world, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities places Melbourne 44th in the world (both first in Australia).

    Melbourne’s main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of the Melbourne central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria. Melbourne is a sandstone university and a member of the Group of Eight, Universitas 21 and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Since 1872 various residential colleges have become affiliated with the university. There are 12 colleges located on the main campus and in nearby suburbs offering academic, sporting and cultural programs alongside accommodation for Melbourne students and faculty.

    Melbourne comprises 11 separate academic units and is associated with numerous institutes and research centres, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and the Grattan Institute. Amongst Melbourne’s 15 graduate schools the Melbourne Business School, the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Medical School are particularly well regarded.

    Four Australian prime ministers and five governors-general have graduated from Melbourne. Nine Nobel laureates have been students or faculty, the most of any Australian university.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:34 pm on October 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New theory on the origin of Dark Matter", , , , , , University of Melbourne (AU)   

    From University of Melbourne (AU): “New theory on the origin of Dark Matter” 

    u-melbourne-bloc

    From University of Melbourne (AU)

    16 Oct 2020
    Lito Vilisoni Wilson
    litovilisoni.wilson@unimelb.edu.au
    +61 466 867 909

    1
    While portions of the work were completed by hand, made possible by a series of simplifying approximations, the results for the study were validated by sophisticated computational calculations. Credit: Michael Baker.

    A recent study from the University of Melbourne proposes a new theory for the origin of dark matter, helping experimentalists in Australia and abroad in the search for the mysterious new matter.

    The work has been published in Physical Review Letters and describes how expanding bubbles in the early universe may be the key to understanding dark matter.

    “Our proposed mechanism suggests that the dark matter abundance may have been determined in a cosmological phase transition,” said Dr Michael Baker, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and one of the authors.

    “These phase transitions are expected to have taken place in the early universe and can be similar to bubbles of gas forming in boiling water. We show that it is natural to expect dark matter particles to find it very difficult enter these bubbles, which gives a new explanation for the amount of dark matter observed in the universe.”

    Although many experiments have searched for particle dark matter, none have yet been successful. Most experiments have searched primarily for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, which has been the favoured dark matter candidate for decades. However, these experiments have not yet seen anything, which really motivates theorists to think outside the box.

    Yale Haloscope Sensitive To Axion CDM -HAYSTAC Experiment a microwave cavity search for cold dark matter (CDM)

    PandaX II Dark Matter experiment at Jin-ping Underground Laboratory (CJPL) in Sichuan, China.

    DAMA at Gran Sasso uses sodium iodide housed in copper to hunt for dark matter LNGS-INFN

    LUX dark matter experiment Photomultiplier tubes, which collect light, were installed in this frame for the experiment.

    LBNL LZ Dark Matter project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA.

    Inside the ADMX experiment hall at the University of Washington Credit Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment.

    “We know dark matter is out there, but we don’t know much else,” said Dr Baker. “If it’s a new particle then there’s a good chance that we could actually detect it in a laboratory. We could then pin down its properties, like its mass and interactions, and learn something new and deep about the universe.”

    The research, which was done in collaboration with Assistant Professor Andrew Long from Rice University, Texas, and Professor Joachim Kopp from CERN (CH) and the University of Mainz (DE), points the way for new experimental strategies for searching for dark matter.

    “One exciting aspect about the idea is that it works for dark matter particles that are much heavier than most other candidates, such as the famous `Weakly Interacting Massive Particles’, on which most experimental searches in the past were focused,” said Professor Kopp. “Our work, therefore, motivates the extension of dark matter searches towards heavier masses.”

    The findings could be especially important for the future of experimental dark matter searches in Australia.

    The Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory, which is currently under construction in regional Victoria, one kilometre beneath the ground in a disused gold mine, will be the first underground particle physics laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere, and will house several dark matter search experiments in the years to come.

    New theoretical proposals will help drive design experiments that can test the widest range of dark matter candidates, giving scientists the best chance of uncovering the mystery of dark matter.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-melbourne-campus

    The University of Melbourne (AU) (informally Melbourne University) is an Australian public research university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is Australia’s second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Times Higher Education ranks Melbourne as 33rd in the world, while the Academic Ranking of World Universities places Melbourne 44th in the world (both first in Australia).

    Melbourne’s main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of the Melbourne central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria. Melbourne is a sandstone university and a member of the Group of Eight, Universitas 21 and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. Since 1872 various residential colleges have become affiliated with the university. There are 12 colleges located on the main campus and in nearby suburbs offering academic, sporting and cultural programs alongside accommodation for Melbourne students and faculty.

    Melbourne comprises 11 separate academic units and is associated with numerous institutes and research centres, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research and the Grattan Institute. Amongst Melbourne’s 15 graduate schools the Melbourne Business School, the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Medical School are particularly well regarded.

    Four Australian prime ministers and five governors-general have graduated from Melbourne. Nine Nobel laureates have been students or faculty, the most of any Australian university.

     
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