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PICO

Dark Matter

Status

Commissioning

Participation

7 Countries
17 Institutions
59 People

Dark Matter

PICO uses a bubble chamber to look for dark matter. The fluid in the bubble chamber is superheated, so when a particle interacts, it boils and creates a bubble. This bubble is captured on camera and microphone, and studying it can tell scientists about the particle that caused it.

Did you know?

  • The fluid is superheated, but since it’s a refrigerant, the temperature is actually slightly cooler than room temperature.
  • The fluid used is the same refrigerant formerly used in household fridges.
  • The cameras are constantly firing, and each frame is analyzed to look for bubbles. When one is detected, bellows compress the liquid to prevent it all from boiling.

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