What The Hell Is A Scintillating Bolometer?

I don't know about you, but this thing doesn't seem like a scintillating bolometer to me. At all. Eduardo Abancens—a University of Zaragoza's physicist—says it's a dark matter detector. One that looks capable of sucking your soul.

Dark matter—which is believed to form 20% of the universe—is invisible to us. We know it's there, floating somewhere, because it affects the behaviour of galaxies and stars. The scintillating bolometer is a crystal that—in theory—would be able to detect it. It is so pure that it can conduct the energy generated as a dark matter particle strikes the nucleus of one of the crystal's atom.

The crystal is placed inside this lead box to avoid interference from cosmic rays. The instrument is going to be buried under almost one kilometre of rock, and frozen near to absolute zero. That way, if a dark matter particle collides with a crystal atom, the team lead by Abancens will be able to detect a temperature change, therefore confirming its existence. Or that is what they say, anyway.

I will keep thinking that a scintillating bolometer is a fancy name for a vibrating scrotum ring. [Wired Science]

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