Shedding Light on Dark Matter

Listen 05:57

Scientists at the University of Washington have developed the tech to ‘see’ what could be a low-mass particle responsible for dark matter – the axion. They believe that incoming axions passing through a strong magnetic field could convert into radio waves. They are looking for particles with masses less than a billionth that of an electron. This years’ Franklin Awards Physics laureate, Helen Quinn, first suggested the idea of this new particle in 1977 with her colleague Roberto Peccei.

The premiere event of the Philadelphia Science Festival takes place this Friday evening.
25 locations around the region, mostly in inner-city neighborhoods, will host amateur astronomers with telescopes to show the wonders of the night sky. Two hundred partner agencies have put together nine days of over 80 events, plus the Science Carnival on the Parkway on 4/28 with over 180 exhibits and demos. Most of the programs are free and family-friendly, including the carnival.

Planets to be seen this week –
Evening – Venus in the west visible not long after sunset, Jupiter in the east by 10 p.m.;
Pre-dawn Saturn and Mars – high in the south at 5a, catching sunlight by 5:30 a.m.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal