Cosmologists at the University of Copenhagen have tested a model that replaces dark energy with dark matter in the form of magnetic forces, the result of which indicates that the universe does not expand differently without dark energy.
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“If what we discover is accurate, it would change our belief that what we thought made up 70 percent 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 appears to have the same effect on the expansion of the universe as dark energy, “Steen Harle Hansen, associate professor at the Niels Bohr Institute’s DARK Cosmology Center, explains in a statement.
The common understanding of how the energy of the universe is distributed is that it consists of 5 percent normal matter, 25 percent dark matter, and 70 percent dark energy.
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The whole assembly is subjected to constant expansion and acceleration. For many years, this mechanism has been associated with the so-called cosmological constant, developed by Einstein in 1917, which refers to an unknown repellent cosmic power.
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.
In the UCPH researchers’ new model, 25 percent of dark matter is given special qualities that make 70 percent of dark energy redundant.
“We don’t know much about dark matter, other than that it is a heavy, slow particle. But then we ask ourselves: what if dark matter had some quality analogous to magnetism? We know that as normal particles move, they create magnetism.
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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 happening thanks to some kind of magnetic force? “asks Steen Hansen.
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 expansion rate 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 universe. As we know because of dark energy, “explains Steen Hansen.
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However, much remains to be understood about this mechanism by researchers. And everything should be verified in better models that take into account more factors. As Hansen puts it: “Honestly, our discovery may just be a coincidence. 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. “