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Physicists in Finland have experimentally created quantum structures that some cosmologists believe were formed seconds after the Big Bang, and may have given birth to dark matter.

As detailed in paper recently published in Nature Communications, the researchers at the Low Temperature Laboratory at Aalto University were able to create quantum objects known as half-quantum vortices and walls bounded by strings in superfluid helium.

A superfluid is a liquid that has no viscosity and is thus able to flow without losing its energy. Although half-quantum vortices were created in superfluid helium for the first time a few years ago, this is the first time that researchers have demonstrated they are able to survive phase transitions into different types of superfluidity. The physicists also demonstrated that after a certain superfluid phase transition these half-quantum vortices form a new quantum object known as walls bounded by strings, which were first predicted by cosmologists decades ago, but never realized in a lab until now.

The breakthrough may have applications for testing theories about the early universe, especially certain theories about the origin of dark matter. But before we dive into the significance of the research it will help to have a little background.

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Category: Science