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The Enigma of Dark Matter

SYDNEY: Australian scientists believe they are well on the way toward solving one of the universe’s greatest mysteries, the nature of invisible dark matter.

The Oscillating Resonant Group AxioN (ORGAN) experiment, Australia’s first major dark matter detector, has just completed a search for a particle called an axion – believed by many cosmologists and physicists to be a likely component of dark matter.

Dark matter, which is believed to form a large proportion of the galaxy, does not absorb, reflect, or emit electromagnetic radiation, making it exceptionally difficult to detect.

Explaining the project in an article published in the Conversation on Tuesday, physicist Dr Ben McAllister from the University of Western Australia (UWA), said ORGAN had placed new limits on the possible characteristics of axions and had, therefore, helped to narrow down the elusive search for them.

McAllister said scientists believed that axions can be converted into particles of light, known as photons, if they are subjected to a strong magnetic field.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.