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A groundbreaking idea about gravity challenges the necessity of dark matter.

A groundbreaking idea about gravity challenges the necessity of dark matter.

According to traditional scientific knowledge, dark matter makes up about 85% of the total mass in the universe. However, advocates of a revolutionary theory of gravity, which suggests that space-time is unstable, argue that their proposed method could make the mysterious substance unnecessary.

A recent publication suggests that dark matter, a concept that has never been visually confirmed, may be an illusion that has captivated the attention of the scientific community for many years. The idea is considered unconventional and has not been extensively examined, but the current statements are causing excitement within the field of physics.

“We are excited to share our paper on X, presented by Professor Jonathan Oppenheim from University College London. Our research suggests a breakthrough in understanding the expansion of the universe and galactic rotation, as our theory of gravity can account for these phenomena without the need for dark matter or dark energy.”

There is ample proof of the existence of dark matter, but its origins remain unclear despite efforts by the Large Hadron Collider. Recently, the European Space Agency launched the Euclid mission with the goal of mapping the distribution of dark matter in the universe.

The newest published article, found on the Arxiv online platform and still awaiting peer evaluation, poses the inquiry of its actual existence. It compares dark matter to erroneous ideas from the past, like the “ether”, a unseen matter believed to fill up all of the universe.

Since there is no concrete proof of the existence of dark energy or dark matter, it is reasonable to question if they are simply unnecessary concepts in science, similar to celestial spheres, ether, or the now-discredited planet Vulcan. The idea is that they may eventually be replaced by simpler explanations. The article notes that gravity has a history of being unpredictable.

In this situation, the more straightforward idea being suggested is Oppenheim’s “postquantum theory of classical gravity”. The UCL professor has dedicated the past five years to constructing this method, which strives to merge the two foundations of modern physics: quantum theory and Einstein’s general relativity, which are essentially incompatible.

Oppenheim’s theory suggests that the structure of space-time is smooth and uninterrupted, but also unstable. Time would vary in its flow rate in a random manner, similar to a babbling stream, causing irregular distortions in space and time in various areas of the universe. This theory also proposes a fundamental lack of predictability.

According to Oppenheim and Andrea Russo of UCL, their paper suggests a new understanding of the universe that could potentially clarify key discoveries regarding the rotation of galaxies and the existence of dark matter. The typical expectation is that stars at the outer edges of galaxies should rotate at a slower pace due to the weaker gravitational effect of visible matter. However, observations show that this is not the case and instead, there must be an invisible halo of matter exerting a gravitational force.

Oppenheim’s theory suggests that the energy needed to maintain the celestial bodies in their orbits is obtained from sporadic changes in the structure of spacetime, essentially creating a gravitational background noise. This effect is insignificant in strong gravitational interactions like the Earth revolving around the Sun, but in weaker gravitational environments like the outer edges of a galaxy, it becomes dominant and can ultimately explain a significant portion of the universe’s energy.

According to Oppenheim on X, our findings demonstrate that the expansion of the universe and the rotation curves of galaxies can be explained without relying on dark matter or dark energy. However, we must approach this cautiously as there is additional indirect evidence supporting the existence of dark matter. Further calculations and comparison with data are necessary. If our results are accurate, it suggests that 95% of the energy in the universe is a result of the unpredictable nature of spacetime. This could indicate a fundamental flaw in our ability to predict physics, or that we are existing in an environment that does not conform to the laws of classical or quantum theory.

Both Prof Carlo Rovelli and Prof Geoff Penington, two prominent theorists, are skeptical and have joined Oppenheim’s 5,000:1 wager that his theory will not be validated.

Penington stated that it is valuable for physicists to examine different methods when tackling complex issues such as the integration of quantum mechanics and gravity.

In my opinion, this approach is unlikely to be the correct one. I have shown my support for this belief and the current papers have not presented any new information that would change my assessment.

Some people are very excited about this. Professor Andrew Pontzen, a cosmologist at University College London, believes that the authors of this study have come up with unique and fascinating concepts. However, it will be difficult to replace dark matter because there is a substantial amount of evidence supporting its existence. So far, the study has only tackled one aspect of this evidence. It remains to be seen if their ideas can fully account for the multitude of phenomena that indicate the existence of dark matter.

Source: theguardian.com