Under the Gran Sasso, Italy’s second-highest mountain, lies a research facility built specifically to search for dark energy. Laboratory Nazionali del Gran Sasso houses the XENON dark energy research project.
We are looking for abnormally interacting particles in liquid xenon (xe) chambers to detect dark matter. In the third iteration of the XENON1T experiment, 14 years after the project began in 2006, evidence for dark energy may have finally been found.
Researchers working on the XENON1T project detected an unexpected signal last year, which couldn’t be explained. Now, a new study led by University of Cambridge researchers suggests that the unexplained results from the experiment may have partly been caused by dark energy. To put it simply, the experiment designed to detect dark energy might have been influenced by it.
Scientists have constructed a physical model to explain the puzzling results of the experiment, which could have been influenced by dark energy particles produced by the sun, in regions with strong magnetic fields. Additionally, future experiments will be necessary to confirm their hypothesis.
Dark energy (not to be confused with dark matter) is a mysterious phenomena that is thought to be essential for accelerating the expansion of the universe. Astronomers discovered that the universe was expanding more slowly than it is now in the late 1990s after launching the Hubble space telescope. Since it was thought that gravity was causing the universe to slow down, this discovery shocked many.
Gravity and the mass of the universe mean that, over time, the universe has to slow down, including imploding and collapsing. Despite this, the expansion of the universe was accelerating.
Therefore, something must have been acting against gravity in order to push the universe forward. That something is considered to be Dark energy.
Gravity opposes the force of dark energy. Gravity pulls things closer, while dark energy pushes them away. Approximately 70 percent of the mass-energy in the universe is dark energy, but its nature remains a mystery.