Question: Are there any new technologies used to detect the existence of dark matter and if so what might they be? I am currently working on a school project and am writing an article about dark matter and would like to get some quotes from astronomers about the topic. Thanks! — Noa
Answer: As you know, dark energy is a hypothesized form of energy that permeates the universe and has the effect of accelerating the expansion of the universe. All measurements that infer the presence of dark energy measure the effect of dark energy on matter, or in other words are indirect measurements. Recently the Planck satellite reported its measurements of the structure of the universe, which is one way to infer the presence of dark energy. By fitting their measurements of cosmic structure to a model of what the universe looks like they were able to say that the universe is 68.3% dark energy, 26.8% dark matter, and 4.9% ordinary matter (like atoms, molecules, and dust, which is the stuff that you and I are made of). Dark energy is also inferred through measurements of the velocity of galaxies as a function of distance from us. I am not aware of any “new” technologies which are being used to make measurements of dark energy. Just variants of the structure and expansion (velocity) measurements I described above.