Is there an alternative to dark matter?

  • 1 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 513
    • View Profile
Is there an alternative to dark matter?
« on: 12/08/2014 10:30:02 »
John Gamel asked the Naked Scientists:
Here's a question for you: You guys have postulated "dark matter" to explain the fact that there is more gravity in the universe than is explained by the "visible" matter. You've also postulated "dark energy" to explain the fact that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. As an alternative, could it be that gravity is not purely linear as predicted by Newton's formula. This alternative would be similar to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which states that gravity distorts both space and time. If a mathematician could derive the right formula, this might replace the theories about dark matter and energy.#

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/08/2014 10:30:02 by _system »


Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4319
    • View Profile
Re: Is there an alternative to dark matter?
« Reply #1 on: 12/08/2014 10:56:39 »
There are a number of alternative theories proposed to explain the characteristics attributed to dark matter and/or dark energy; a number of them modify Newton's or Einstein's model of gravity.
These theories would need to show themselves more accurate than the most widely accepted current theories, and explain the evidence for dark matter.

I would add one more source of evidence: computer modeling of the structure of the universe including assumptions about dark matter and dark energy produces something with similar statistical properties to what we see around us. This is a "semi-experimental" verification.

As for the nature of dark matter, this would not be the first time that scientists have discovered some particle which was previously undetectable. Some physicists are hoping that the LHC will be able to shed some light on candidate particles, when the new upgraded LHC reopens in 2015.