A combined team of physicists and biologists aim to build a directional dark matter detector using strands of DNA and gold.
Dark matter is a hypothesized type of matter which accounts for much of the mass of the universe. It cannot be seen, but its existence is inferred from its gravitational influence on visible matter and the structure of the universe. Some of the most popular models of dark matter suggest that it exerts itself on galaxy clusters and surrounds the Earth like a sea as it travels around the Sun, which in turn is slowly traveling towards the constellation Cygnus as it rotates around the galactic center.
If this is the case, Earth should experience a “headwind” of dark matter in front of it (coming form the direction of Cygnus) for half of the year and a tailwind for the other half of the year, depending on where it is on its orbit around the Sun.
Many different groups are working to try and detect dark matter using expensive detectors in deep underground caverns, which protect them from radiation that could otherwise pollute the signal. They are focusing on finding the unique signature that the “sea” of dark matter supposedly produces as the Earth orbits the Sun. This should change depending on what point in the year it is and also throughout the day as the Earth rotates on its axis. A dark matter detector should be able to sense the direction change as the Earth rotates each day.