"There's a Puzzling Conspiracy between Dark Matter and Visible Matter" (Today's Most Popular)
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July 07, 2014

"There's a Puzzling Conspiracy between Dark Matter and Visible Matter" (Today's Most Popular)

 

Dark-matter-02-1000x1000 (1)

 

On 4th of July, 2013 a European team of astronomers led by Hongsheng Zhao of the SUPA Centre of Gravity at the University of St Andrews presented a radical new theory at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in St Andrews. Their theory suggested that the Milky Way and Anromeda galaxies collided some 10 billion years ago and that our understanding of gravity is fundamentally wrong. Remarkably, this would neatly explain the observed structure of the two galaxies and their satellites.

Earlier, in 2009, Zhao led An international team of astronomers that found an unexpected link between 'dark matter' and the visible stars and gas in galaxies that could revolutionize our current understanding of gravity. Zhao suggested that an unknown force is acting on dark matter.

The team believes that the interactions between dark and ordinary matter could be more important and more complex than previously thought, and even speculate that dark matter might not exist and that the anomalous motions of stars in galaxies are due to a modification of gravity on extragalactic scales.

"The dark matter seems to 'know' how the visible matter is distributed. They seem to conspire with each other such that the gravity of the visible matter at the characteristic radius of the dark halo is always the same," said Dr. Benoit Famaey (Universities of Bonn and Strasbourg). "This is extremely surprising since one would rather expect the balance between visible and dark matter to strongly depend on the individual history of each galaxy.

"The pattern that the data reveal is extremely odd. It's like finding a zoo of animals of all ages and sizes miraculously having identical, say, weight in their backbones or something. It is possible that a non-gravitational fifth force is ruling the dark matter with an invisible hand, leaving the same fingerprints on all galaxies, irrespective of their ages, shapes and sizes."

Such a force might solve an even bigger mystery, known as 'dark energy', which is ruling the accelerated expansion of the Universe. A more radical solution is a revision of the laws of gravity first developed by Isaac Newton in 1687 and refined by Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity in 1916. Einstein never fully decided whether his equation should add an omnipresent constant source, now called dark energy.

Dr Famaey added, "If we account for our observations with a modified law of gravity, it makes perfect sense to replace the effective action of hypothetical dark matter with a force closely related to the distribution of visible matter."

The implications of the new research could change some of the most widely held scientific theories about the history and expansion of the universe.

Lead researcher Dr. Gianfranco Gentile at the University of Ghent concluded, "Understanding this puzzling conspiracy is probably the key to unlock the formation of galaxies and their structures."

In January 2010, Erik Verlinde, professor ofTheoretical Physics and world-renowned string theorist, caused a worldwide stir with the publication of On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton, in which he challenged commonly held perceptions on gravity, going so far as to state ‘for me gravity doesn’t exist’. If he is proved correct, the consequences for our understanding of the universe and its origins in a Big Bang will be far-reaching.

"Everyone who is working on theoretical physics is trying to improve on Einstein," says Robbert Dijkgraaf, UvA University Professor and current director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (where scientists including Turing, Oppenheimer and Einstein have worked) In my opinion, Erik Verlinde has found an important key for the next step forward."

Verlinde, who received the Spinoza prize (the Dutch Nobel Prize) from the Netherlands Organisation for Science, is famous for developing this new theory, or idea, on gravity in which he says that gravity is an illusion. "Gravity is not an illusion in the sense that we know that things fall," says Verline." Most people, certainly in physics, think we can describe gravity perfectly adequately using Einstein’s General Relativity. But it now seems that we can also start from a microscopic formulation where there is no gravity to begin with, but you can derive it. This is called ‘emergence’."

"We have other phenomena in Physics like this," Verlinde continued. "Take a concept like ‘temperature’, for instance. We experience it every day. We can feel temperature. But, if you really think about the microscopic molecules, there’s no notion of temperature there. It’s something that has to do with the property of all molecules together; it’s like the average energy per molecule."

To Verlinde, gravity is similar. It’s something that only appears when you put many things together at a microscopic scale and then you suddenly see that certain equations arise. "As scientists," he observes, "we first want to understand nature and our universe. In doing so, we have observed things that are deeply puzzling, such as phenomena related to dark matter. We see things happening that we don’t understand. There must be more matter out there that we don’t see. There’s also something called ‘dark energy’. And then there’s the whole puzzle of the beginning of the universe. We now have what is called the ‘Big Bang’ theory.

Verline belives his ideas will shed new light on the concept of ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ and why they’re important in relation to gravity.

"We think we understand gravity in most situations," he says "but when we look at galaxies and, on much larger scales, at galaxy clusters, we see things happening that we don’t understand using our familiar equations, like Newton’s equation of gravity or even Einstein’s gravity. So we have to assume there’s this mysterious form of matter, which we call dark matter, which we cannot see. Now dark energy is even weirder, in the sense that we don’t even know what it consists of. It’s something we can put in our equations to make things work, but there’s really a big puzzle to be solved in terms of why it’s there and what it’s made of. At present, we have not really found the right equations to describe it. There’s clearly progress to be made in terms of finding a bettertheory of gravity, and understanding what’s happening in our universe."

For example, the Big Bang theory is the idea that at a particular moment things suddenly started exploding and growing, and that our universe got bigger, which Verlinde finds illogical to think it came from this one moment.

"It’s illogical to think there was nothing and then it exploded. We use concepts like time and space," he adds, "but we don’t really understand what this means microscopically. That might change. The Big Bang has to do with our understanding of what time should be, and I think we will have a much better understanding of this in the future. I think we will figure out that what we thought was the Big Bang was actually a different kind of event. Or maybe that we should not think that the universe really began at a particular moment and that there’s another way to describe that."

Verlinde believes that the information we have today and the equations we now use only describe a very small part of what is actually going on. "If you think that something grows, like our universe, than something else must become smaller," he observes."I think there’s something we haven’t found yet and this will help us discover the origins of our universe. In short, the universe originated from something, not from nothing. There was something there and we have to find the equations. It has something to do with dark energy and how that is related to dark matter. If we understand the equations for those components of our universe, I think we’ll also have a better understanding of how the universe began. I think it’s all about the interplay between these different forms of energy and matter.

The Big Bang theory works well in the sense that it gives us some understanding of how particular elements in our universe came about and there are other things that we can observe, like the radiation that came from the Big Bang. But the whole idea of an expanding universe that started with a big explosion will change. "You need to think about the equations in a bigger setting," Verlinde observes. "You need to describe more than just the matter particles. You need to know more about what space/time is. All these things have to come together in order to be able to explain the Big Bang."

Quantum mechanics took approximately 26 years to develop, Verlinde concludes. "We’ve had string theory for 40 years and nothing yet has come out of that which can be directly tested with observations or experiments. I think my idea has a greater chance of being tested with observations, which is an exciting thing. I think it will take no more than 10 or 15 years."

The end result be belives will lead to a paradigm shift in how people think that the universe was created.

Journal Reference: Gianfranco Gentile, Benoit Famaey, HongSheng Zhao, Paolo Salucci. Universality of galactic surface densities within one dark halo scale-length. Nature, 2009; 461 (7264): 627 DOI: 10.1038/nature08437

The Daily Galaxy via University of St. Andrews, University of Amsterdam and Erik Verlinde

Image credit: dark matter halo, http://kipac.stanford.edu/kipac/media

Comments

I find the concepts addressed in this article very interesting, in spite of the fact that I don't have a clue about the substance of what the author is talking about!

watch verlinde .....I think he is right.
he is to be our next Einstien in coming decade.

I totally agree with the ideas in this article, except the characterization that gravity is an illusion.
Gravity is a real power and is created as follows:

"When the negatively charged electrons, enter in rotational orbits around the positively charged nuclei, in order to form the atoms, the difference between the attraction and repulsion forces exercised by the charges of the particles of those atoms to the particles of the other atoms, are not totally neutralized, but remains a very small positive residue. This positive residue creates gravity"

Please keep this comment, because I'm pretty sure that once, it will qualified as the comment of this century. I do not write anything more, because behind this comment is attached a whole book, «The Real Grand Unification», it I believe will be released very soon.

I am willing to reply to any question.

"Dark energy" is the center of the "universe" - CMB cold spot.
Our "universe" was thrown from the center of "meta-universe" due to centrifugal force.
"Dark matter" was not detected yet because it does not radiate.

What if dark matter is just space dust? Most of space is basically empty making the dust virtually invisible, i.e. "dark" matter.

A very basic calculation shows that a cube with one light-year long sides could fit 8,47E+47 small cubes of 1 m3 volume. Even if they contained only a few dust particles the total mass would be huge. If the dust was even lightly concentrated it might create a big "invisible" gravitational force.

For comparison, the Milky Way alone spans across 120 light-years. The distance between galaxies (e.g. Andromeda and the Milkt Way) is millions of light-years. That's plenty of empty space to contain "dark" matter. The huge size of the Universe makes it possible to conceal a hidden force in very tiny bits.

I've heard gravity described as a depression on a flat sheet by a mass, and this is what other objects fall into.
Naturally this is a simplistic and totally wrong analogy since it is actual gravity at work on our model.....BUT, what if gravity doesn't attract, but rather "pushes" mass into these depressions in space/time.
Wouldn't that explain dark energy, and if like Weinstein said dark matter is just dust, then we have solved everything.
Your welcome and where's my Nobel!

I'm always amazed by these comments. What sort of cognitive impairment allows laypeople to hold opinions on dark matter outside of the well established framework. MOND never took off for a reason.

What if gravity is just a new dimension (the 5th) which can't be seen or observed, like time? We can feel its effect but we can't really create it artificially.

If we have a three dimensional system and a single coordinate in it (e.g. a planet), then time would simply mean that the planet could have multiple different locations. That's pretty obvious.

Now lets bring in gravity. What if we could have this planet in a x/y/z-system for any given moment in time and in addition it would create a "bump" in a fifth dimension relative to its mass? Of course, only one planet could create a bump for any given moment in time in the EXACT same location (without colliding with another object).

Of course, this still doesn't say anything about the nature of gravity or why it pulls stuff towards itself. But in the same way, we can't "create" time or reverse it. It's just a built-in property of our system, the Universe.

The same sort of "cognitive impairment" that allows people to simply accept authority as making an argument correct Jordan. There are myriad instances of authorities being completely wrong and that will continue.

"'The dark matter seems to 'know' how the visible matter is distributed. They seem to conspire with each other such that the gravity of the visible matter at the characteristic radius of the dark halo is always the same,' said Dr. Benoit Famaey (Universities of Bonn and Strasbourg). "This is extremely surprising since one would rather expect the balance between visible and dark matter to strongly depend on the individual history of each galaxy."

Of course, this is exactly what one would expect if baryonic dark matter contained in invisible, primordial, halo Bok globules without stellar metallicity contamination convert to stars in the plane of the spiral arms.

It is calculated that the universe consists of 68% dark energy, 27% dark matter and 5% normal matter.
Question: Can someone, to describe briefly how the above quantities calculated?

Count the number of feet and divide by four!

@ weinstein. Agreed, its always what i thought might be underestimated... dust...from what i understand , we only see it, at best next to blazing stars so seems like there would be quite a bit. just because it gets dense and pops off stars dont mean it aint everywhere, just diluted.

@ Allan W Janssen. I think that the calculation you suggest, calculates employed persons and not percentages of dark matter and dark energy.

<> “It is possible that a non-gravitational fifth force is ruling the dark matter with an invisible hand, leaving the same fingerprints on all galaxies, irrespective of their ages, shapes and sizes.” – Dr. Benoit Famaey.

And, is it possible that “fifth force” is a sustaining, shaping FORCE regulating galaxies, and their Mega -Clusters? Maybe there is, indeed, an “invisible hand” “ruling”, not only so-called dark matter, but the entirety of Spacetime. A genesis POWER, from which all other forces derive, upholding the created Universe Matrix. An “invisible hand” (rather than mysterious dumb force) could suggest – Guiding Intelligence.

<> “I think it’s all about the interplay between these different forms of energy and matter.” * (Generated from single Unified Force, or one Supreme Power?)

Dark matter and energy may just be related properties of a SINGLE – superior – governing FORCE, “closely related to the distribution of visible matter” (and a lot more). The “dark” of force and energy might actually illuminate a sustaining POWER behind the Galaxy Filament Network: unified order of structured Spacetime Complex.

Rather than darken the celestial picture, detected(?) influencing agencies – evidence of ONE active Agency? – might enlighten man's view of the heavens. Provide elevating, and humbling, perspective of his place on Earth. If secular scientists would dare to take off the physical blinders, they might consider what the firmament silently declares, night after observational night. The great turning celestial mirror being studied, deeply reflects evidence of an “invisible” image – boldly shines an Existence Eternal. The Lens of Science cannot capture the spiritual, but it has, and does seem to detail an authoring INFLUENCE, disclose forensic Fingerprints, of an “invisible hand” of Living Creator.

Astronomers, astrophysicists, cosmologists may dimly be peering off the respective time-edges of material space, darkly glimpse perplexing evidence of a Higher-Plane Realm – far above the temporal-material dominion (hinted in puzzling reflections, of nature “strange”). While claims abound that secular science proves the reigning explanation of the elegant material Universe, true Science is disclosing clues to imperceptible dimension to physical reality, pointing to “the key to unlock the formation of galaxies and their structures.” (ibid)

The only real Key that can open understanding to Universe origin, and genesis of Planet Earth. (The “key” that not only reveals “the history and expansion of the universe”, but unlocks WHY time began, and explains the Life-World of temporal MAN.

<> “Its illogical to think there was nothing and then [ the Universe ] exploded. …. I think we will figure out that what we thought was the Big Bang was actually A DIFFERENT KIND OF EVENT." – *

“Verlinde believes that the information we have today and the equations we now use only describe A VERY SMALL PART OF WHAT IS ACTUALLY GOING ON. 'If you think that something grows, like our universe, then something else must become smaller. …. I think THERE'S SOMETHING WE HAVEN'T FOUND YET and this will help us discover the origins of our universe. In short, THE UNIVERSE ORIGINATED FROM SOMETHING, not from nothing. [ logical ] There was something there and we have to find the equations. … [ a computable material “something”, mathematically expressible? ] If we understand the equations for those components of our universe, I think we’ll also have a better understanding of how the universe began. I think it's all ABOUT THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN THESE DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND MATTER.” – Theoretical Physicist, Erik Verlinde. * ( all emphasis added )

– Dare one suggest, the sudden appearance of the Universe, might after all, have been a supernatural CREATION EVENT: flashed forth from great Building POWER, from INTENTIONALITY OF MIND. In PLANNED release of emanating energy, LAW-governed matter formed, masterfully shaped by interplay of force and energy: Universe fashioned from stupendous POWER. Not of blind explosive accident, emerged from “nothing” (or an indefinable something), but CONTROLLED FORMATION – intelligently wrought – by SOMEONE? Then, it becomes an EVENT infused with meaning, and purposeful “beginning”.

– What “equation” can describe a NONE-physical origin, give quantifiable term to NONE-material(?) dimension, or expression to Primal Creative Power. How explain remarkable discovery, the profound property, of expanding Space – revealing a GROWING Cosmos (filled with worlds)?

Is man looking through the physical science glass darkly? It seems the closer Science gets to the edge of material reality, quantum to cosmic scales, the “weirder” things seem to become. “Strange” affects ethereally appear. We think we know so much, yet don't realize how little we actually understand. On the narrow shore man stands, hardly grasping the vast ocean, hidden beyond the material line of sand (Sir Isaac Newton).

<> “The end result [verlinde] believes will lead to a paradigm shift in how people think that the universe was created.”

Signature of purposeful Intelligence all around. Imprint of meaningful Design everywhere found. (One is certainly needed.)

~ “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” – Ps 33:6 (KJV)

~ “He [ the Great Builder, through whom all Creation was wrought ] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” – Heb. 1:3 (ESV)

Correction: Near end, I wrote "(One is certainly needed)" - wrong position! Parenthetical expression should have followed quote ABOVE its misplaced location → "...paradigm shift in how people think the universe was created." (....)

I am a lay person (engineer, not scientist) with an honest question about the discrepancy in galactic rotation that provides evidence of Dark Matter or MOND. I understand that galactic rotation is too "disk-like", where the outer portion of the disk is seen to rotate faster than can be explained by the observed baryonic mass and its gravitational effects.

My question is this: How are the relativistic effects of galactic rotation on gravity propagation accounted for in the calculations that disagree with observations? If a galactic disk is symmetrical, uniform, "balanced" from a god's-eye view far above the center, then the view of the galaxy from any point in the disk (and the gravitational forces present there) would seem to be asymmetrical, due to the rotational motion of the entire disk.

If an observer embedded in the disk had a clear view of the entire disk, would he not see a distorted distribution of matter, due to relativistic propagation effects? An observer at the edge of the disk, when observing a distant region of the disk in the direction of rotation, will see very slightly red-shifted (receding) matter, and in the direction opposite the rotation, he will see very slightly blue-shifted (approaching) matter. Of course the local region of the disk will appear motionless, while the opposite side of the disk will have a large apparent motion in the opposite direction of the observer.

If we compare the god's-eye "snapshot" view of the disk with the embedded observer's view, we see that the god's-eye view is symmetrical and the rotational velocities appear anomalous. From the embedded observer's view, though, there appears to be more matter accumulated in the direction of rotation, and less matter accumulated in the direction opposite of rotation, because greater and greater observation distances imply older and older views of the distribution of matter.

The observer's view of the disk edge opposite his vantage point would be 100,000 years old (here in the Milky Way, a typical galaxy), so the observer would see 100,000 years worth of rotation missing from his most distant observations. This means that the embedded observer's view of the disk's mass distribution is asymmetrical by 100,000 years worth of rotating mass that has not crossed the centerline from the observer through the galactic center, but which HAS crossed the centerline in the symmetrical god's-eye view from above the galactic center.

My question reduces to this: if the apparent distribution of galactic disk mass is asymmetrical from the embedded observer's vantage point, then won't the gravitational forces he experiences also be asymmetrical? Won't the galactic disk behave as it if it were perpetually more massive (more gravitationally attractive) in the direction of rotation, and less massive (and less gravitationally attractive) in the direction opposite of rotation? Would this asymmetry then explain (without invoking Dark Matter or MOND) the anomalous rotational velocity distribution observed from the god's-eye vantage point?

Thanks in advance for your clarifying response.


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