A new study by the University of Michigan is suggesting that WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) are striking our bodies once every minute. The elusive dark matter.
Conducted by Katherine Freese, a professor with the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Michigan coordinated with Christopher Savage, a postdoctoral researcher with the Oskar Klein Centre at Stockholm University in Sweden for this study.
These theoretical physicists believe that WIMPs rarely interact with normal matter but commonly interact with each other. And it passes through the Earth by the billions every second. The chances of these particles striking a nuclei in your were thought to be exceedingly low, but this new study is suggesting that it happens all the time.
The researchers applied existing models of WIMP masses and prevalence and estimated how often it would interact with the nuclei most commonly found in people, in hydrogen and oxygen. Both hydrogen and oxygen are struck more often by WIMPs than many other elements. Humans are mostly made up of water, which makes us targets for WIMPs.
There is a chance that the collision in your liver, "could cause a mutation that would be bad for you," Freese said. "But the odds of it happening are really low." I, for one, am reassured that the chances of a particle we're not even are really sure exists has a relatively low chance of giving you cancer.
So now we've got dark matter to worry about as well.