A joint paper with Nobel physics laureate Frank Wilczek has been published in the journal Physical Review B. This entire article is about dark matter, one of the great mysteries of modern physics. Nobody knows exactly what it is. There is an opinion that it can be made from axes; these are hypothetical particles predicted by physicists Wilczek and Weinberg in the 1970s. They interact very weakly with ordinary matter and can turn into photons in strong magnetic fields.

Some scientists search for axes in space or conduct large experiments on Earth to find their traces. Others, on the contrary, study them on metamaterials, which are human-created substances with unique mechanical and electromagnetic properties. The properties of these materials depend not only on their chemical composition, but also on their structure.

There are metamaterials in solid state physics, but they have weak axis effects. Together with Frank Wilczek, scientists at the ITMO University Frontier Laboratory “Fundamental Physics Research Using Topological Metamaterials” proposed creating a metamaterial in the field of photonics, where the effects of axes can be multiplied.

Their new material consists of layers with known magnetic and optical properties. In a metamaterial, quasiparticles behave in the same way as hypothetical axes. To confirm this, scientists conducted various numerical experiments.

One of the main advantages of this new metamaterial is the ability to control axis response. This means it can be used for different purposes. Since natural materials do not have this possibility, they cannot reinforce weak axis response. The scientists claim they have developed a new method for measuring the axis response of a metamaterial that was not possible before in photonics.

ITMO University researchers have provided the scientific community with new tools and ideas for the study of axes. Maybe this information will be useful in the search for dark matter. Scientists now plan to explore other exotic phenomena in metamaterials that could lead to new discoveries in fundamental physics.

Source: Ferra

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