Interesting facts about dark matter - The Comprehensive Minds

Interesting facts about dark matter


Interesting facts about dark matter

What is dark matter?

It is ironic and a little strange, but knowledge does not always bring understanding. For example,   people used to think that the flat Earth rested on three whales standing on a huge turtle. With the advent of telescopes and, moreover, the science of astronomy, it became clear that we live on a planet that is shaped like a geoid. 

However, as it sounds paradoxical, a lot of knowledge brings a lot of questions. If earlier lightning could be explained by the whim of the god Zeus, now it has been proven that this is a physical phenomenon resulting from a large static charge in the atmosphere. 

Then a whole series of new questions come up about what affects this phenomenon, how it happens, and others. The same is true of the universe that is all around us. Scientists still don't know what it consists of but are developing various theories about it. One of the most common and interesting is the Dark Matter theory

This is a special term for a substance that does not participate in electromagnetic effects. The interesting thing is that because of this, the matter is inaccessible for direct observation, which means that there is no direct evidence of its existence. 

However, there are circumstantial factors that indicate the presence of dark matter in space. Scientists have discovered this term to explain the problem of hidden mass in the effects of abnormally high rotation rates of the outer regions of galaxies. 

According to this theory, dark matter occupies about 25% of the entire universe, and when combined with dark energy, this figure reaches 95%. For comparison, normal matter, which we are used to seeing every day, occupies only about 5% of the mass. However, these are not the only mysteries and amazing discoveries that dark matter holds. 

Dark matter features 

Dark matter is one of the most mysterious and, at the same time, most common substances in the universe. Yes, scientists can't see it, but they can study it. We can say that dark matter exists and even infer some of its properties by observing how it affects matter and light that we can observe, especially in large-scale astrophysical environments

However, the fact that dark matter still eludes direct laboratory detection means that a number of its properties remain an open question. As far as we know, dark matter must be cold by nature. Theoretically, any (still undiscovered) particle responsible for the dark matter could have any mass. 

Moreover, it could be created by moving fast or slow or not moving at all, relatively to the speed of light. But if dark matter moves fast, its properties will suppress small-scale structure formation, resulting in structures other than what we can observe. 

In particular, we have three lines of observational evidence that limit the temperature of dark matter, namely the gravitational lensing of quasars, the light absorption features of distant objects, and the tidal energy flows in the vicinity of the Milky Way. 

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All three pieces of circumstantial evidence say the same thing that dark matter must either be heavy enough or be born slow. In other words, dark matter must have been "cold" even in the earliest stages of the universe, not hot or warm. 

Dark matter is inert. As scientists conclude, it should not interact much with itself, light, or with normal matter. There is no doubt that if dark matter exists, then it must have had a way to be created in the young universe. However, whatever the path, these interactions no longer occur and have not occurred in large numbers and for a very long time. 

Direct detection experiments have not detected dark matter, which limits its possible mass and cross-section. It does not absorb or blur distant stellar light, which means that this interaction is limited. It does not annihilate with itself above a certain threshold, otherwise, a large and diffuse gamma-ray signal would be visible in the centers of galaxies. 

In fact, this is 100% corresponding to the absence of interaction through any of the known mechanisms. If we hope to detect dark matter directly, we will have to push our limits of knowledge even further and even then there is no guarantee that we will gain additional knowledge. 

In addition, dark matter effects are prevalent in small and the smallest galaxies. This is a bit paradoxical, but it is confirmed by observations almost everywhere, wherever scientists paid attention. According to the laws of gravity, all forms of matter are treated the same, but other forces, such as nuclear and electromagnetic forces, act only on normal matter. 

When a big outburst occurs in a galaxy and a new star is formed, all this radiation simply passes through dark matter, but can also collide with and be absorbed by normal matter. This means that if the total mass of a galaxy is small enough, this normal matter can be displaced by intense outbursts during star formation. 

The smaller the mass of the galaxy, the more normal matter will be displaced, while all dark matter will remain. The most prominent examples are the dwarf galaxies Segue 1 and Segue 3. They are neighbors of the Milky Way and contain only a few hundred stars but have a total of about 600,000 solar masses. 

The ratio of dark matter to normal matter mass here is about 1000:1, in contrast to 5:1 in most large-scale structures. Dark matter causes gravitational effects in places where there is no normal matter. This is one of the most convincing pieces of evidence that dark matter can't simply be normal matter. 

When two groups or clusters of galaxies collide, intergalactic gas and plasma collide and heat, emitting X-rays. However, the mass signal from gravitational lensing shows that most of the mass is elsewhere. The main conclusion is that some new form of matter, dark matter, must account for most of the mass of the Universe. 

Also Read: Does Antigravity Really Exist?-Fact or Fiction

Dark matter mysteries 

Although there is some knowledge about dark matter, there are many more secrets to this substance.   Regardless of how hard scientists try, there are still a huge number of intriguing mysteries. For example, we don't know which particles are responsible for dark matter, or even if it's a particle at all. 

All we know is that dark matter exists, that it does not interact with itself, normal matter, or radiation, and it is cold. What we don't know is what properties it actually possesses. Dark matter could be anything because all our efforts to directly detect a particle or field of dark matter have led nowhere. 

We see its astrophysical effects indirectly, and this is obvious evidence, but no real particles have yet been detected. Dark matter can be homogeneous or inhomogeneous, and this raises some interesting questions.   

For example, are there dark atoms, dark molecules, or even larger structures composed solely of dark matter? There may be an entire dark universe, perhaps, even including some kind of dark "periodic table" consisting of some different types of dark particles that interact with each other, but according to their physical laws. 


However, at the moment, scientists have already managed to obtain certain knowledge and systematize it.

1. Dark matter is everywhere around us. 

This is the name we have already given to the unknown mass in the universe, which remains invisible, and there is a lot of it. Research shows that about 70% of the universe consists of dark energy, and the remaining 25% consists of a mysterious substance known as dark matter. We can't see it, we don't understand it, but we know it is out there somewhere. 

2. It is completely invisible. 

Dark matter is really hard to study because we have no way of seeing it. This strange substance does not interact with light and therefore is completely invisible. So how do we know it exists? That's simple because dark matter affects the universe around us indirectly, creating gravitational and other anomalies. 

3. Dark matter links galaxies together. 

Yes, dark matter can't be seen, but it can be felt because of its powerful effects on space. Dark matter exerts a "gravitational force", which means that it attracts other matter to itself. Meanwhile, there is so much of it that the gravitational force is enough to hold together entire galaxies, such as our Milky Way. This is why dark matter is often compared to a giant web, uniting galaxies in place. 

4. It distorts the appearance of the space. 

We can also see the effects of dark matter simply by looking at the sky. When astronomers observe distant galaxies, they often appear elongated and oddly shaped. This effect is known as "gravitational lensing" and is caused by the gravitational force of dark matter. This force is so great that it physically bends the light around galaxies, distorting their appearance. 

5. Scientists have created "maps" of dark matter. 

Scientists have been able to put together maps of space, indicating where they think dark matter is hiding.   By studying the "relic radiation" left over after the Big Bang, scientists can identify areas in space where more radiation exists, and the more radiation, the more matter. In this way, we can identify "hot spots" where higher levels of dark matter may be concentrated. 

6. We do not know what dark matter consists of.   

Most scientists believe that dark matter is some unique particle. We already know about photons, electrons, quarks, and many other particles, but there may be many others waiting to be discovered. One or more of these unidentified particles may be responsible for effects such as gravitational lensing and the "web" that we associate with dark matter. 

7. Dark matter may not exist. 

It is funny, but dark matter may be an undiscovered particle or nothing at all. Some scientists believe that the effects we associate with dark matter are actually caused by gravity. Perhaps, our existing theory of gravity is wrong, and the effects we attribute to dark matter may simply be a quirk of gravity that we do not yet understand. 

8. Spaceships are hunting for signs. 

So, is dark matter a particle or a consequence of gravity?  We don't know that yet, and more research is needed before any theory can be proven true or false. If dark matter particles exist, they must collide with each other from time to time, an interaction that produces radiation. 

That is why spaceships have been equipped with advanced detectors to look for signs of this radiation. Some interesting results have emerged,   but the search for hard evidence is still ongoing. 

9. In some countries, dark matter laboratories are hidden deep underground. 

If irrefutable evidence for the existence of dark matter is ever found, it will reveal itself in the form of very small effects. Interestingly, to detect these tiny signals, scientists have set up dark matter labs deep underground, away from the effects of suppressing background noise. 

For example, the UK has the Bowlby Underground Laboratory. This is a dark matter laboratory in  North Yorkshire located over 1000 meters below the Earth's surface. Other similar facilities exist all over the world, from Canada to Australia. 

10. We are getting closer to the truth about dark matter. 

When it comes to dark matter, there is still a lot we don't know and some mysteries may never be solved. However, as technology advances, we are getting closer to the truth. Dark matter may be complex, elusive, and mysterious, but scientists around the world will continue the hunt, and what they discover may ultimately change the way we think about space. 

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