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Live Chat: Does Dark Matter Consist of Weird Particles Called Axions?

6 November 2013 3:30 pm
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[Please hit refresh on this page if the video is not playing and it is after 4 p.m. EST. Leave your questions in the comment section at the bottom of the page. Our moderator will address them during the chat.]

Roughly 85% of the matter in the universe is dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity holds the galaxies together but that has not revealed itself in any other way. Although many physicists think that dark matter consists of beefy “weakly interacting massive particles,” or WIMPs, it's also possible that it’s made of incredibly light particles known as axions that physicists dreamed up for another reason entirely. Over the next 3 years, the Axion Dark Matter Experiment, or ADMX, aims to detect those odd particles and either prove conclusively that axions are dark matter or that they can't be.

Join Gianpaolo Carosi, the spokesperson for the ADMX team, and Frank Wilczek, a theorist who helped develop the concept of the axion, on Thursday, 7 November, on this page, for a live chat about what axions are and how physicists hope to detect them. Be sure to leave your questions for our guests in the comment box below.

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