The IAC hosts the annual meeting of the DALI experiment to search for dark matter

Proof-of-concept prototype of the DALI experiment manufactured at the IAC's instrumentation facilities. Credit: Inés Bonet (IAC)


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The annual meeting of the DALI (Dark-photons & Axion-Like particles Interferometer) experiment, an international collaboration to develop an astroparticle detector for the first direct observation of dark matter, was held on 7 and 8 February at the IAC headquarters in La Laguna.

The various proofs of concept carried out over the last few years have given rise to a prototype, manufactured at the IAC's instrumentation facilities, whose first scientific results are expected to be published soon.

The main goal of DALI is to search for dark matter axions and paraphotons in a spectral range that has remained largely unexplored to date. Theorised in the late 1970s, the axion is a hypothetical light-mass particle that interacts very weakly with standard particles, and is therefore considered a very promising dark matter candidate.

Dark matter is a fundamental constituent of the Universe with which ordinary matter interacts very weakly, so although there is indirect evidence of its existence, it is very difficult to detect directly. Its discovery could explain the anomalies observed in the rotation curves of spiral galaxies or why the formation of structures in the Universe has evolved in the way it has done so far, among many other enigmas.

The meeting, organised by the IAC, was attended by a dozen participants from different research centres, including the RIKEN institute, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) and Messiah University.

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