China's new mission DAMPE will launch a dark matter particle telescope to detect and study the evidence of dark matter. How does this telescope work? What is expected from the mission?


The idea behind DAMPE is that, if there is something we currently think of as dark matter (and AFAIK that's a big "if", but that's only an opinion...), every now and then a so-called WIMP or Weakly Interacting Massive Particle must hit a "normal matter" particle, producing one or a few high-energy photons. In order to maximize the chances of catching a WIMP, you need to go outside the Earth's atmosphere, which is what DAMPE does. It is a fairly simple scintillation detector, combined with a calorimeter (to detect the heat, in "normal matter", generated in the interaction's entropy increase) and a neutron detector, for the case a WIMP blasts one or more neutrons out of an atomic nucleus.

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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible to add links to or cite supporting sources? When readers see "The idea behind DAMPE is..." and "It is a fairly simple scintillation detector..." there should be some way they can verify the veracity of the statements of fact and explanation. I don't doubt what you are writing, but links to supporting sources is what makes Stack Exchange answers more than just random people writing stuff. They also makes the answer more valuable because readers can then do further reading if they like. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 26 '19 at 7:57

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