Table of contents:
- What is the universe made of?
- Dark energy is no longer needed
- Magnetic force is the key to the mystery of the expansion of the universe
Like raisin dough rising in a hot oven, galaxies and even entire clusters fly apart in observable space (that is, the Universe). This was noticed back in 1920 by an astronomer named Edwin Hubble; his discovery eventually led scientists to a modern picture of the expansion of the universe.
It is believed that mysterious dark energy is responsible for this process - a hypothetical form of energy that evenly fills space and makes up 70 percent of the universe. However, doubts about its existence have always been, even with Einstein himself.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen recently removed dark energy from the equation and used computer simulations to see if the universe could expand without it. The results obtained showed that the expansion of the Universe is associated with dark matter, which has a certain magnetic force. A new discovery could change our understanding of the universe.
What is the universe made of?
Everyone who is interested in the structure of the Universe knows that it consists of only 5% of the matter we are accustomed to. About a quarter more is dark matter - a mysterious substance about which not much is known, since it is inaccessible to direct observation. The remaining two-thirds are even more mysterious dark energy that is causing our universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate.
Note that as of 2020, the existence of dark energy is confirmed by measurements of relic radiation - thermal radiation that arose in the early Universe and uniformly fills space.
So, a team of astrophysicists from the Physics and Mathematics Institute named after Kavli (IPMU) found that in the relict radiation there are signs of violation of the so-called spatial parity - one of the fundamental properties of the universe, which the Standard Model does not predict. According to the authors of the study, dark matter and dark energy violate the principle of parity, which may indicate the existence of a "new physics".
Another "wake-up call" in favor of a revision of modern ideas about the Universe was the work of South African scientists in 2019. In it, the researchers even suggested that dark energy does not exist, since the very hypothesis of galaxies scattering at a breakneck speed is based on "false guesses and incorrect calculations." As noted by the authors of the scientific work published in the journal Physical Review Letters, to prove this, much more observational data for the CMB will be needed.
Dark energy is no longer needed
Considering that talk about a "new physics" does not subside, Danish scientists rushed to the top and removed dark energy from the equations altogether. In the course of their work, they tested a model according to which the expansion of the universe is actually due to a form of dark matter, which is dominated by a special type of magnetic force.
As the authors of the study note, they added several more properties to dark matter, with the help of which it can have a direct effect on the expansion of space (instead of dark energy). Since the latter cannot be measured, and most of its characteristics are unknown, the new theory does not seem far-fetched. For Steen Hansen, one of the study's authors, "the reality is that we don't know too much about dark matter, only that it is made up of slow and heavy particles."
“Perhaps dark matter has a quality similar to magnetism. Thus, something similar to what happens with ordinary particles can happen in the universe when they move and create magnetism, or when magnets attract or repel other magnets.This constant expansion of dark matter is probably caused by some kind of magnetic force, "- the words of the scientist quoted edition Phys.org.
Magnetic force is the key to the mystery of the expansion of the universe
In the course of the work, scientists developed a computer simulation model that included variables such as gravity, the rate of expansion of the universe and X - an unknown force that expands space and is the basis of dark energy.
Assuming that dark matter particles have a special type of magnetic force, the model developed by scientists determined that this force would have exactly the same effect on the expansion rate of the universe as dark energy does today.
Given that the study could change the current understanding of the universe, astrophysicists were cautious in their conclusions and pointed out that “more evidence, based on deeper research, is needed to finally confirm the findings. If further research confirms the data obtained by the Danes, then dark energy will have to say goodbye, because there will be no sense in its existence.