As much as
90 percent of the universe is made up of matter that is evident to us only
by its gravitational effects. In search of this "dark
matter," researchers in Rome and Beijing have reported evidence for a
theorized type of dark matter called a WIMP, a weakly interacting massive
particle. This particle was said to be at least 50 times more
massive than a proton yet so non-interactive with ordinary matter that a
billion might pass through your body every second without a trace.
Another research team disputes these findings. This group,
representing 10 institutions including Berkeley Lab, reports "the
world's best discrimination in the search for dark matter." Their findings
appear "incompatible" with the reported WIMP sighting.
theory, in the beginning, for a brief instant after the Big Bang, the
dominant state of matter in our universe was a soup of sub-atomic
particles known as quarks and gluons. From this primordial soup --
scientists call it a "quark-gluon plasma" -- ordinary matter as
we know it today came about. Quark-gluon plasma is a theoretical
lynchpin of nuclear science, yet it has never been seen or detected by
humans. Several scientific collaborations currently are underway,
seeking to recreate this primordial soup. Now, with an announcement
out of Europe, the
hunt for the quark-gluon plasma is heating up.