"Dark Matter is Darker Than Once Thought" by Smithsonian Institute / via Wikimedia Commons

Physicists Have Finally Seen Traces of a Long-Sought Particle. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal.

Nov 22, 2019

By Meredith Fore

Scientists have finally found traces of the axion, an elusive particle that rarely interacts with normal matter. The axion was first predicted over 40 years ago but has never been seen until now.

Scientists have suggested that dark matter, the invisible matter that permeates our universe, may be made of axions. But rather than finding a dark matter axion deep in outer space, researchers have discovered mathematical signatures of an axion in an exotic material here on Earth.

The newly discovered axion isn’t quite a particle as we normally think of it: It acts as a wave of electrons in a supercooled material known as a semimetal. But the discovery could be the first step in addressing one of the major unsolved problems in particle physics.

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