Are Scientists Finally Finding Proof of Dark Matter?
For decades, scientists have speculated about all of the components that make up the universe. Scientists obsess and theorize about all the things you can see, and all of the things you cannot see. While matter has always been the easiest to observe and speculate about (primarily because you can see it to observe it), there are some things scientist believe to be out there that we cannot see. Dark matter got it s name specifically because you cannot see it, but scientists and cosmologists in all niche’s continue to search for it. So far all attempts at discovering, observing and understanding exactly what dark matter is and does, have been unsuccessful.
The theory behind dark matter is that it take up a huge chunk of the universe’s matter. It is believed that 27% of the mass and energy in the universe that is observable is made up of dark matter. It is the part of space that the naked eye sees as empty. It is called ‘dark’ because it does not interact with electromagnetic spectrum or emit electromagentic radiation. The reason why scientists continue to speculate that it exists at all is because it seems to affect the universe around it. So even though scientist can’t see it, it gravitational effects prove that its there. Or at least it proves that ‘something’ is.
Over the years that has been a lot of speculation about how it can be found, and a new hypothesis may be able to solve that. The theory is that dark matter is actually black holes surrounding galaxies and stretched out in filaments crisscrossing throughout intergalactic space.
The theory originates from physicists from John Hopkins University who believe that the previous discovery of gravitational waves provides them with even more evidence for the dark matter/black hole connection. They state that the black holes that were spotted by the gravitational observatory LIGO are in the right mass range to be the same primordial black holes that could explain dark matter.
“We are not proposing this is the dark matter,” said one of the authors, Marc Kamionkowski, in a statement. “We’re not going to bet the house. It’s a plausibility argument.”
In September of last year, LIGO observed two black holes that weighed about 30 solar masses, merging into a 60 solar mass object. Black holes come into existence when heavy stars go supernova. They generally don’t get bigger than 15 times the mass of the Sun in our local universe. However, the objects that LIGO saw were much bigger, which suggests that they were formed by larger stars/ This has scientists speculating that they could have been formed by the first stars in the universe or directly from the big bang. There are an unusually high number of these objects if the numerical simulations are correct.
“If you have a lot of 30-mass events, that begs an explanation,” said co-author Ely D. Kovetz, a postdoctoral fellow in physics and astronomy. “That the discovery of gravitational waves could be connected to dark matter” is creating lots of excitement among astrophysicists.
“It’s got a lot of potential,” Kamionkowski added.
More analysis is necessary to corroborate this idea, but it’s a very bold hypothesis and could be the solution to one of the longstanding mysteries of astronomy.