Study suggests that dark matter only interacts with force of gravity

Contrary to previous studies, new data suggests that the only force that dark matter interacts with is gravity.
By Tyler MacDonald | Apr 09, 2018
A new study from researchers at the British University of Durham suggests that dark matter only interacts with gravity, according to The Talking Democrat. The data contradicts previous data that suggested that dark matter interacts with the rest of the fundamental forces, as well as itself.

Three years ago, the same team examined the collision of four galaxies in the Abell 3827 cluster, which exists 1.3 billion light-years from the Earth. During the event, dark matter appeared to lag behind the galaxy that it surrounded. The lagging led the team to conclude that dark matter interacts with itself and other forces that exist outside of the force of gravity.

But now, new imaging reveals that this lagging might have due to technological limitations. The same team suggests that in the case of Abell 3827, dark matter did not separate from the galaxy, which supports the idea that dark matter might only interact with the force of gravity.

The new study was conducted using the ALMA radio telescope that is located in the Chilean Atacama desert. Using the radio telescope, the team was able to capture high-resolution images to observe more distant galaxies than possible with the Hubble Space Telescope.

The new images shed light on the position of dark matter in clearer detail than previous pictures that showed it lagging behind the galaxy.

Future studies will continue to use the ALMA radio telescope and its high-resolution images to develop our understanding of the nature of dark matter.

The findings were published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


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