Researchers have tested a model that suggests that the expansion of the universe is due to a dark substance with a kind of magnetic force, not dark energy.
Until now, researchers have believed that dark energy accounted for nearly 70% of the ever-expanding and accelerating universe. For many years, this mechanism has been associated with the so-called cosmological constant, which Einstein developed in 1917, which refers to an unknown repellent cosmic power.
“We have removed dark energy from the equation and added some more properties for dark matter.”
But because the cosmological constant, known as dark energy, cannot be measured directly, numerous researchers, including Einstein, have doubted its existence, unable to suggest a viable alternative.
Until now. For the new study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen tested a model that replaces dark energy with dark matter in the form of magnetic forces. His article on the work has yet to be published, but is available on arXiv.
Researchers know that dark energy is not magnetic in the traditional sense, where a north-seeking pole repels another north-seeking pole, while attracting a south-seeking pole. This special type of magnetism relates to a force that always repels and in doing so expands the universe rather than maintaining its limits.
“If what we discover is accurate, it would change our belief that what we thought made up 70% of the universe does not actually exist. We have removed dark energy from the equation and added a few more properties for dark matter. This seems to have the same effect on the expansion of the universe as dark energy, ”explains Steen Harle Hansen, associate professor at the Niels Bohr Institute’s DARK Center for Cosmology.
The common understanding of how the energy of the universe is distributed is that it consists of 5% normal matter, 25% dark matter, and 70% dark energy.
In the new model, 25% of the proportion of dark matter is given special qualities that make 70% of dark energy redundant.
“We don’t know much about dark matter other than that it is a heavy, slow particle. But then we wonder: what if dark matter had some quality analogous to magnetism? We know that when normal particles move, they create magnetism. And magnets attract or repel other magnets, so what if that is what is happening in the universe? That this constant expansion of dark matter is produced thanks to some kind of magnetic force? Hansen asks.
Hansen’s question served as the basis for the new computer model, where the researchers included everything they know about the universe, including gravity, the rate of expansion of the universe, and X, the unknown force that expands the universe.
“We developed a model that worked on the assumption that dark matter particles have a type of magnetic force and investigated what effect this force would have on the universe. It turns out that it would have exactly the same effect on the expansion rate of the university that we know from dark energy, ”explains Hansen.
However, there are still many things about this mechanism that researchers do not understand. And everything should be verified in better models that take into account more factors.
“Honestly, our discovery may just be a coincidence,” Hansen says. “But if it isn’t, it’s really amazing. It would change our understanding of the makeup of the universe and why it is expanding. As far as our current knowledge is concerned, our ideas about dark matter with a type of magnetic force and the idea about dark energy are equally wild. Only more detailed observations will determine which of these models is the most realistic. So it will be incredibly exciting to test our result again. “
Source: University of Copenhagen