Approximately 86 years ago, that an astronomer named Fritz Zwicky observed that the universe seemed to have a missing mass. However, something had to be in the place of the missing mass, spread between cosmic bodies and the powerful forces that lock them on position. The elusive substance is known today as dark matter.
Dark matter remains an important topic for a large number of scientists and it continues to offer interesting dilemmas. It is thought that up to 80% of the universe is represented by dark matter but no one has managed to spot it during lab tests.
The presence of dark matter is signaled by the powerful gravitational pull that it generates. Some researchers argue that a new hypothetical particle that is known under the name of X17 could be used to uncover more data about dark matter.
X17 was discovered in 2015 by a team of Hungarian researchers. The team argued that the detection of the new particle is an important step forward and that it could explain how dark matter particles interact with each other.
The discovery was quite controversial, but the team continued the research and elaborated a new paper that contains surprising details about the particle. It is thought that X17 is a subatomic particle that can carry energy and force, with a mass of 17 million electron volts.
At this point, four forces are known: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong and weak, which direct how particles interact with each other. X17 could force physicists to rewrite the Standard Model, which does not take into account the interaction between particles of dark matter.
Many researchers have started to use devices like the Large Underground Xenon Detector, the Large Hadron Collider, or the DAMA/LlBRA experiment in an attempt to track down dark matter particles.
It remains to be seen if X17 is real and useful for future research.