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A mathematical scientist with the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, has proposed a possible way to test for the existence of axions—theoretical particles that might be possible components of dark matter. In his paper published in Physical Review Letters, Christian Beck suggests it might be possible to detect the existence of axions by using a Josephson junction.

The existence of dark matter is still just theory, as no one has yet been able to detect its actual physical presence—all such evidence thus far has been circumstantial. Key to proving that dark matter exists is finding a particle that might form its basis. To that end, researchers have been trying for years to detect weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), or the much lighter axion. Thus far, hints of success have been found with WIMPs but no one has yet come close to seeing any evidence of the existence of an axion. In his paper, Beck suggests there might be a way to do so, and, it should be a relatively easy process, because it might have actually been done before without those responsible realizing it.

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