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A radio that searches for dark matter

Credit: Harrison Truong
Sep 26 2019
Department News, Faculty
A team of Stanford University researchers are on a mission to identify dark matter once and for all. But first, they'll need to build the world's most sensitive radio.
"Dark matter is most of the matter in our universe. We don't know what it is but we know it's there because we can see its gravitational effects," explained Peter Graham, an associate professor of physics in Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences and one of the leaders of this search for dark matter. "We also know it has to be made out of a totally different particle with different properties than anything we've ever found."
Graham and Savas Dimopoulos, the Hamamoto Family Professor in physics at Stanford, have developed theories about dark matter that advocate for high-precision experiments focused on finding axions, theorized particles that are among the most likely candidates for dark matter. Their theories—once considered "interesting but out there," according to Graham—are gaining popularity as other candidates for dark matter get ruled out and new technologies are making their exacting experiments possible. Now the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation have granted Stanford researchers roughly $2.5 million to prototype a new kind of dark matter sensor. [Read more.]