Dark matter, which accounts for most of the matter in the entire universe, may be found during studies of the Sun, Alexander Dolgov, professor of the University of Ferrara (Italy) and chief researcher at the Moscow-based Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, told Interfax.
Dolgov also heads the cosmology and elementary particles laboratory of Novosibirsk State University.
"The accuracy of observations keeps growing, and, eventually, certain signatures may be detected that would confirm that the Sun has an unusual source of energy through the annihilation of dark matter particles," he said.
A great deal is already known about the Sun thank to seismological measurements of the solar helium abundance, Dolgov said. Scientists study solar oscillations to learn more about the interior structure of the star.
Dolgov said that his laboratory at Novosibirsk State University had already built a second dark-matter detector prototype, which is large enough to contain 150 liters of liquid argon.
Such devices are able to detect super-light particles - low-energy neutrinos, which can interact with atomic nuclei, but do not produce electrons, he said.
"Our detector is sensitive to them, and this opens up very interesting prospects, in particular, in the sphere of proximity diagnostics of nuclear reactors - it is their practical application in the short-term prospect. There are also prospects for medicine - a quick calculation of electrons and positrons will help receive tomography test results very rapidly," the scientist said.
In 2011, Novosibirsk State University, using a large grant awarded to it by the Russian government, set up a cosmology and elementary particles laboratory, which explores the issues of dark matter and antimatter, as well as trains specialists in cosmology and astrophysics.
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