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One professor who studies the earth and one who studies space came together in the pursuit to detect and define dark matter. They are one step closer. Using 16 years of archival data from GPS satellites that that orbit the earth, the University of Nevada, Reno team, Andrei Derevianko and Geoff Blewitt in the College of Science, looked for dark matter clumps in the shape of walls or bubbles and which would extend far out beyond the GPS orbits, the solar system and beyond.

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The team focused on ultralight fields that might cause variations in the fundamental constants of nature – such as masses of electrons and quarks and electric charges. The variations could lead to shifts in atomic energy levels, which may be measurable by monitoring atomic frequencies. That’s where the GPS satellites come in. Global positioning system navigation relies on precision timing signals furnished by atomic clocks.

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“Geoff has been using the atomic clocks on the GPS satellites in his geodetic work — measuring uplift of tectonic plates, the shape of the earth, earthquakes, global sea levels, so is familiar with the precision of the system,” Derevianko said. “I’ve worked on devising more accurate atomic clocks. We realized the GPS system could be used to detect listen to the dark matter sweeping through us.

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A scientific article of the team’s work was published in the journal Nature Communications on Dark Matter Day, October 31, 2017. (1)

Ghost fields…

Affecting nature’s constants…

Re-shaping time itself…

A hammer slamming down the cosmos.

A feather dropping in silence.

A slight breeze.

Timeless.

Re-shaping the world…

One falling leaf at a time…

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