Astrophysicists estimate that dark matter accounts for 85% to 90% of all matter in the known universe. Scientists, however, have been unable to detect the mysterious material because their weak interactions with the electromagnetic force are intangible at best. Instead, astrophysicists have only been able to infer their existence from the gravitational effects it seems to have on normal matter. As a result, dark matter is considered a hypothetical substance probably constructed from a form of undiscovered subatomic particles.
This has recently led some scientists to question whether the substance exists and whether it will ever be discovered.
A new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, led by the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA), sought to dispel doubt surrounding dark matter.
Chiara Di Paolo, a doctoral student in astrophysics at SISSA, said: "Three years ago some colleagues from Case Western Reserve University strongly questioned our understanding of the universe and the deep work of many researchers casting doubt on existence. of dark matter in galaxies.
"By analyzing the rotation curves of 153 galaxies, especially the classic spiral type, they obtained an empirical relationship between the total gravitational acceleration of stars and the component we would observe in the presence of single vulgar matter in the Newtonian classic . theory.
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Dark matter: It is believed that the mysterious substance is found in all galaxies
"This empirical relationship that seemed valid in all analyzed galaxies and in any galactic ray has motivated the explanation of gravitational acceleration without necessarily questioning dark matter, but involving, for example, theories of modified gravity, such as Modified Newtonian Dynamics."
According to the NASA space agency, galaxies and dark matter go together like "peanut butter and jelly".
We thought every galaxy had dark matter
Astronomers believe that dark matter exists within each observable galaxy and can be one of the triggers that help create galaxies.
In essence, it is believed that dark matter is the glue that keeps matter visible within these galaxies together.
Because of this, astronomers were surprised in 2018 to find that the galaxy NGC 1052-DF2 contained only 1/4 of the expected amount of dark matter.
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Pieter van Dokkum, of Yale University, said: "We thought every galaxy had dark matter and that dark matter is how a galaxy begins.
"This invisible and mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy.
"So finding a galaxy without it is unexpected. It defies the standard ideas of how we think galaxies work, and this shows that dark matter is real: it has its own separate existence as well as other components of galaxies.
"This result also suggests that there may be more than one way to form a galaxy."
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Dark matter: The invisible form of matter is considered the glue that holds the galaxies together
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The presence of dark matter in galaxies is used to explain how stars move and group together in a way that ordinary matter can not explain.
Paolo Salucci, professor of astrophysics at SISSA, said: "We studied the relationship between total acceleration and its ordinary component in 106 galaxies, obtaining results different from those previously observed.
"This not only demonstrates the inexactness of the empirical relationship described earlier, but it dispels doubts about the existence of dark matter in galaxies.
"In addition, the new relationship found could provide crucial information about understanding the nature of this undefined component."
How are physicists looking for dark matter?
Unlike normal matter, dark matter does not reflect or emit light and does not interact with the electromagnetic force.
This makes dark matter incredibly difficult to observe, but scientists have been able to speculate on how the substance works.
According to the physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, a theory suggests that darkness exists in a "parallel world" different from ours.
Another theory proposes that dark matter contains the so-called supersymmetric particles, which mirror those of the widely accepted standard model of particle physics.
Cern said: "If one of these theories is red, it could help scientists better understand the composition of our universe and, in particular, how galaxies hold together.
Unfortunately, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which beats proton particles almost at the speed of light, still can not detect the elusive material.