October 16, 2021

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Quantum crystal could reveal the identity of dark matter

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Using a quirk of quantum mechanics, researchers have created a beryllium crystal capable of detecting incredibly weak electromagnetic fields. The work could one day be used to detect hypothetical dark matter particles called axions. 

The researchers created their quantum crystal by trapping 150 charged beryllium particles or ions using a system of electrodes and magnetic fields that helped overcome their natural repulsion for each other, Ana Maria Rey, an atomic physicist at JILA, a joint institute between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder, told Live Science. 



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