What if dark matter isn’t the solution to space’s greatest mysteries? These are the alternative theories.

SeekerPublished: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018
Published: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018

Dark matter has been the go-to explanation for many scientists as to why there seems to be more gravitational influence in our universe than the gravity measured by visible matter. But what if there’s no dark matter at all? The idea of dark matter was first proposed by Henri Poincaré in 1906. Then in 1933, evidence of dark matter was found by Fritz Zwicky while studying galaxy clusters. Then more evidence of dark matter was found based on the calculations of rotational velocities in galaxies made by Vera Rubin in 1978.

Our universe is made up of less than 5% of visible matter - like stars, planets, galaxies you, me, everything we can see. Everything else, is stuff we can’t see which we call dark matter. Right now, dark matter is used to explain a few things in astrophysics. Like: why hot galaxy clusters don’t blow themselves apart, why stars don’t get flung out into space because of galaxy rotation, and the temperature fluctuations of the CMB - or cosmic microwave background radiation.

That said, there are theories that are trying to explain all this without assuming it’s dark matter. First, the empty space scale invariance theory, which says that properties of empty space should not change based on scale. An astrophysicist looked back at the early equations of Einstein, and Newtonian Dynamics, and modified an acceleration term in Newton's law. With this change, the law could explain a new force. This video, "What if dark matter isn’t the solution to space’s greatest mysteries? These are the alternative theories. ", first appeared on seeker.com.

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