Dark matter has escaped astrophysicists for quite some time. A Dutch astronomer named Jacobus Kaptien first spoke of its existence in the 1920s. The famous radio astronomer Jan Oort later substantiated the hypothesis of the existence of dark matter in the early 1930s when he discovered that more mass must be present than is observed to set the group of local galaxies in motion. And as early as August 2006, NASA found direct evidence of the existence of the greatest mystery in the universe – dark matter. According to a recent study, dark matter existed before the Big Bang. But how is that possible?
How do we know that dark matter exists?
Dark matter is not directly observable, but its existence is due to the strange gravitational effects it has on matter and space distribution. It is estimated that dark matter accounts for approximately 80% of the total amount of matter in our universe. At the same time we know almost nothing about her. A mystery becomes even more incomprehensible when dark energy combines with dark matter. Our universe consists of 27% dark matter, 68% dark energy and only 5% ordinary matter. And yes, all of our knowledge of the universe is based exactly on that 5%.
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Today, researchers at Johns Hopkins University are trying to pinpoint the origin of dark matter. In their recent study, they shared a new idea about how dark matter was born. According to one of the authors of the study, Tommy Tenkanen, scientists have discovered a new connection between elementary particle physics and astronomy.
Perhaps dark matter consists of particles that existed before the Big Bang. These particles are currently explaining the extraordinary distribution of galaxies in the cosmos. In addition, Tenkanen said that this newly discovered connection could be used to investigate the pre-Big Bang conditions. Previously, researchers believed that dark matter is the remnant of the Big Bang. However, experimental research has not found these particles.
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When did dark matter appear?
So far, only one of the possibly existing particles has been discovered – the Higgs boson. The researchers claim that we still do not know what dark matter is, but if it has anything to do with the so-called scalar particles – elementary particles that have formed during inflation – dark matter may be older than the big bang.
The formation of dark matter before the big bang is not a new idea in itself. However, this idea was never supported by mathematical calculations, so this study is currently unique. According to Tenkanen, scientists are losing sight of the simplest mathematical scenario for the formation of dark matter. The study was published in the journal Physical Review Letters.