What is Dark Matter
Dark matter is now the subject of focus at the CERN research facility. After it reopened in March following upgrades, scientists hope to unlock more secrets of the universe by focusing on illusive Dark Matter. The observable matter that makes up the known universe makes up a minuscule 5%. This means that there is a startling amount of other types of matter which have gone undetected until now. Scientists noticed inconsistencies when they attempted to weigh the universe using different methods; yes it is possible to weigh the universe. However different methods came back with different results.
Upon studying different galaxies one thing was clear. They should not exist under our current understanding of the universe. The speed they rotate at generates gravity so strong that theoretically, they should be torn to pieces. This suggested to scientists that there must other type of matter holding the galaxies together. This realisation led to the theory of dark matter.
Dark matter doesn’t interact with the electromagnetic force either. This means it does not absorb or reflect any amount of light. Because it can’t be seen, it is incredibly difficult to measure or observe dark matter. Scientists have calculated that dark matter makes up 27% of the universe based off of observation, inferring dark matter where the required amount of matter is absent. If dark matter cannot be detected, you might be wondering how the researchers at CERN will be able to produce and measure it. Well chances are dark matter is already produced during experiments. Until now it would have simply slipped by the sensors.
It is said that dark matter could contain the hypothesized ‘supersymmetric particles’. Supersymmetry is a conjectured symmetry of space and time. The supersymetric particles are understood in The Standard Model and it is hoped that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN could shed some light on this theory. However in recent weeks, the scientists over at CERN have observed particles that do not adhere to the standard model, leaving them baffled.
Dark energy makes up an estimated 68% of the universe. It is said that dark energy has an even distribution throughout the universe, in both space and time. As a result it does not get diluted as it expands but stays constant. Because of the nature of dark energy and it’s lack of gravitational effects, it acts as a repulsive force. The rate of this repulsive force can be measured by Hubble’s Law and so proves it’s existence. By proving it’s existence in this manner scientists were able to determine just how much dark energy exists in the universe.