Detection of magnetized quark-nuggets, a candidate for dark matter.
Quark nuggets are theoretical objects composed of approximately equal numbers of up, down, and strange quarks and are also called strangelets and nuclearites. They have been proposed as a candidate for dark matter, which constitutes ~85% of the universe’s mass and which has been a mystery for decades. Previous efforts to detect quark nuggets assumed that the nuclear-density core interacts directly with the surrounding matter so the stopping power is minimal. Tatsumi found that quark nuggets could well exist as a ferromagnetic liquid with a ~1012-T magnetic field. We find that the magnetic field produces a magnetopause with surrounding plasma, as the earth’s magnetic field produces a magnetopause with the solar wind, and substantially increases their energy deposition rate in matter. We use the magnetopause model to compute the energy deposition as a function of quark-nugget mass and to analyze testing the quark-nugget hypothesis for dark matter by observations in air, water, and land. We conclude the water option is most promising.