Japanese science experiment sheds light on potential revelations about our early Universe

Written on 01/23/2021
Ciarán Mather

A pair of Japanese scientists may have stumbled upon an interesting discovery concerning some of the earliest light that was emitted at the birth of our Universe. 

It was reported that the duo found that the polarization of photons, or put simply, light particles, might be slightly changed from their original orientation when the light was first produced. 

The rotated signature of the photons indicates that something may have interacted with those photons: possibly dark matter, also known as dark energy, which is a highly-destructive, theoretical property that seems to exert gravitational pull yet does not interact with light.

The study's lead author Yuto Minami, a physicist at the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies (IPNS) of High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Japan, explained to LiveScience: 'Maybe there is some unknown particle, which contributes to dark energy, that perhaps rotates the photon polarization.'

After carefully studying the findings, the team theorised that something along the light's path, or possibly even at the beginning of the Universe, altered it as it travelled towards Earth.

The authors reported their findings with 99.2 percent confidence, meaning there's an 8 in 1,000 chance of getting similar results by chance. However, for a discovery to constitute absolute proof, scientists need 99.99995 per cent confidence.

There is still plenty of work to be done however, according to Minami, who humbly stressed that the team's findings are just the beginning: 'Our results do not mean a new discovery, only that we found a hint of it.'