Gravitational Waves Might be the Key to Finding Dark Matter

Universe Today | 10/23/2018 | Staff
fofo (Posted by) Level 3
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Exotic dark matter theories. Gravitational waves. Observatories in space. Giant black holes. Colliding galaxies. Lasers. If you’re a fan of all the awesomest stuff in the universe, then this article is for you.

Most of the contents of our universe are of a form completely unknown to physics. That’s just a raw fact that we’re all going to have to get used to. If you’re tempted to think that it’s just some sort of cosmological problem, an issue that only arises on the very largest scales, well then I have bad news for you. One of these mysterious components to the cosmos is – as far as we can tell – a form of matter.

Form - Matter - Kind - Matter - Matter

But not just any form of matter, otherwise we would’ve seen it by now. No, we think it’s a kind of dark matter; matter that simply doesn’t interact with light. No emission. No absorption. No scattering. Nothing. And the fact that dark matter exists shouldn’t be that surprising, should it? After all, who dictated that everything in the universe must interact with light?

Nobody did, and so here we are. If you look at a random galaxy, the stuff that lights up – stars, nebulae, etc. – only represent a small fraction of the total amount of mass in that galaxy. The exact ratio between “normal” matter and the dark stuff depends on lots of factors, like the galaxy’s formation history. But in general, the smaller the galaxy, the more of it is dominated by dark matter.

Galaxies - Dwarf - Galaxies - Laboratory - Matter

The smallest galaxies, known as dwarf galaxies, could provide a handy laboratory for studying dark matter. In these galaxies, dark matter is free to do what dark matter does without any of that pesky light-interacting-matter to really complicate things. If dark matter does something strange (well, stranger than simply existing), like interact...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Universe Today
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