Science 3 min read

Dark Matter May Have Existed Before the Big Bang

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Dark matter remains one of the most elusive mysteries of modern physics.

Aside from the belief that it makes up 80 percent of the Universe, researchers don’t know much about it. We don’t know exactly what it is or how it came to be.

However, a Johns Hopkins University study is exploring a new idea of how dark matter was formed. According to their paper in Physical Review Letters, it may have existed before the Big Bang.

In a statement, the study’s author and postdoctoral fellow in Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University, Tommi Tenkanen, said:

“The study revealed a new connection between particle physics and astronomy. If dark matter consists of new particles that were born before the Big Bang, they affect the way galaxies are distributed in the sky in a unique way. This connection may be used to reveal their identity and make conclusions about the times before the Big Bang too.”

Dark Matter and Cosmic Inflation

Before now, astronomers believed that dark matter could be a remnant of the Big Bang. While all experimental searches for this mysterious primordial matter have been mostly unsuccessful, the assumption remained.

But, Tenkanen pointed out that if the elusive matter was indeed a leftover substance from the Big Bang, researchers should have already seen a direct sign of its existence in various particle physics experiments.

To prove this point, the researchers used a simple mathematical framework. This led to the hypothesis that dark matter was produced during cosmic inflation – an era characterized by the rapid expansion of space.

Scientists believe that rapid expansion produced certain types of particles called Scalars. While only one Scalar particle – Higgs Boson – has been discovered, researches believe that others exist.

Tenkanen noted:

“We do not know what dark matter is, but if it has anything to do with any scalar particles, it may be older than the Big Bang. With the proposed mathematical scenario, we don’t have to assume new types of interactions between visible and dark matter beyond gravity, which we already know is there.”

The notion of dark matter existing before the Big Bang is not entirely new. Several theorists in the past have suggested the idea based on various calculations.

But, according to the researcher, past studies have also overlooked the most straightforward possible mathematical scenario for the substance’s origin.

To understand how dark matter came to be, we must examine the signature it leaves on the distribution of matter in the Universe, says Tenkanen. The Johns Hopkins study suggested a way to do this.

“While this type of dark matter is too elusive to be found in particle experiments, it can reveal its presence in astronomical observations. We will soon learn more about the origin of dark matter when the Euclid satellite is launched in 2022. It’s going to be very exciting to see what it will reveal about dark matter and if its findings can be used to peak into the times before the Big Bang.”

Read More: What Stephen Hawking Got Wrong About Dark Matter

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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