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Physics Undergrad's Calculations Used To Explain X-ray Origins Previously Attributed to Dark Matter

November 20, 2015

Student's charge exchange calculations were used in model developed by The Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) that attributes X-rays to more ordinary ion-atom collisions

Patrick Mullen, undergraduate student in Prof. Phillip Stancil's research group, developed charge exchange calculations used by SRON's scientists to provide a more natural and less exotic explanation for a discovery last year of a possible detection of dark matter.

These X-rays, at very specific energies, may come from an electric charge exchange between cold hydrogen gas and bare sulphur ions. 

The research results are published in the article: A novel scenario for the possible X-ray line feature at ~3.5 keV: charge exchange with bare sulfur ions appears today in the Astronomy & Astrophysics magazine: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201527634. Authors: Liyi Gu (SRON), Jelle Kaastra(SRON, Leiden University), Ton Raassen (SRON, University of Amsterdam), P. D. Mullen, R. S. Cumbee, D. Lyons en P. C. Stancil (all University of Georgia).

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