Is Dark Matter Disappearing?

dark matter disappearing

Galaxy Cluster Abell 520

Physicist have discovered a new aspect in the interplay between dark matter and dark energy, leading to dark matter disappearing, swallowed by dark energy.

Dark matter is the mysterious substance that only rarely interacts with normal matter. The substance was proposed as a way to explain the extra gravity keeping galaxies together, necessary since the rotation of the galaxies otherwise would fly apart without the extra attraction from this force. Dark energy is another myster, this force that pushes the universe to expand,  without its action all matter in space would simply squeeze together in one place because of gravity. Now new research from the University of Portsmouth propose a new model showing that dark matter is disappearing, erased by dark energy.

Dark Matter Disappearing – Darkness Descending

This new research show that dark matter, the source of the extra gravity keeping structures together, is slowly being erased, swallowed up by dark energy. The proposed model are published in the journal physical review letters.

Dark matter provides a scaffold that structures in the universe can grow upon. As mentioned above things would simply fly apart if this force didn’t keep all matter together. In 1998 researchers announced that the expansion of the universe was accelerating, not slowing as expected, by the force of gravity acting on the stars and galaxies hurdling through space. To explain this surprising expansion physicists came up with dark energy. The vacuum of space is not nothing, it has an energy to it. This energy, the cosmological constant, drives the expansion of the universe. Though the concepts of dark matter and dark energy is theoretical our models of the universe wouldn’t work without them.

In this paper researchers investigated data from surveys, including Sloan digital sky survey, to analyze the growth of structures in space. With this data they were able to test various models of dark energy to find which model best explained what they were seeing. The large amount of new data since the 1998 announcement enabled them to build a better model of the universe that included the find of dark matter disappearing, if they wanted to explain the expansion of space.

What observation led to this model?

The data from the surveys showed the growth-rate of structures in space including galaxies, cosmic structures and clusters of galaxies. The problem with this was that these structures should grow faster than they were, but since they weren’t the only explanation that made sense was the finding of the paper. Dark matter disappearing, being swallowed up by dark energy.