Conducting a Research on Dark-Matter, ITB Researcher and COSINE-100 Pass onto Nature Journal

By Adi Permana

Editor -

BANDUNG, – A researcher from Institut Teknologi Bandung along with other researchers under COSINE-100 conducted a research to discover the existence of Dark-Matter. Their paper titled “An Experiment to Search for Dark-Matter Interaction Using Sodium Iodide Detectors” pass onto Nature Journal, one of prestigious journals in the world, on 5 December 2018 issue.

COSINE-100 is a collaborative research of 50 scientists in South Korea, USA, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Indonesia. Indonesian scientist are represented by Prof. Mitra Djamal from FMIPA-ITB and Hafizh Prihtiadi, a doctoral student from Physics Program. The research passed because the content refutes previous research on similar topic.

Previously, a research on Dark-Matter was conducted by DAMA that began in 1998. They claimed to have discovered Dark-Matter from their observation toward Halo Galaxy which indicated yearly modulation signal that fulfil the criteria of independent model of Dark-Matter by using sodium iodide as detector.

COSINE-100, who began their experiment on September 2016 by using the same detector DAMA used, found no Dark-Matter interacting with the detector. This finding significantly refute DAMA’s claim. The experiment data shows that the Sodium Iodide detector crystal COSINE-100 use has better sensitivity in DAMA’s signal area, even though COSINE-100’s detector only weigh 106 kg, compared to DAMA’s 250 kg detector.

“Why is this surprising? Because the experiment of COSINE-100 refutes what DAMA found about Dark-Matter they claimed 20 years ago,” explained Prof. Mitra.

According to Prof. Mitra Djamal, the result of the research is very important for Indonesia. “Until today there are not many Indonesian researcher that pass onto Nature Journal. Hopefully this will trigger and encourage research in Indonesia,” he said.

*Prof. Mitra Djamal with other COSINE-100 researcher

Indonesian researchers have significant role in the team, especially in the making of the instrument. “Our doctoral student there comes from Instrumentation Physics Research Group,” he added. With this research, that even involve Indonesian doctoral student, he believes that Indonesia will be counted and involved more in global scale research.    

He also hopes that one day Indonesia can be a host to similar research. “But it does not seem feasible right now. Even to build a laboratory will take billion rupiah,” said this professor in Physics. Fortunately, he thinks Indonesia will not lack the human resources.

“Well, didn’t we already prove that we can work together with other researchers from other countries since the beginning until the end of the research? If our performance is poor then it is impossible to have our name written on the list of writers,” he answered. He also said that the research is yet to finish. Currently it refutes the previous research. Next, the research will study how to detect Dark-Matter.

Reporter: Ferio Brahmana