One of the biggest challenges to our traditional understanding of the cosmos is something called the “satellite disk problem.” In essence, scientists are confused because smaller galaxies orbit larger galaxies in thin, flat planes rather than the messier orbits that would be expected under the Lambda cold dark matter (ΛCDM) model — the “fanastically successful paradigm” that defines how we observe space.
In order to get around this issue, scientists are now positing that particles called “symmetrons” are generating invisible walls in space, which astronomers refer to as “domain walls.” This in turn creates what astronomers Aneesh Naik and Clare Burrage of the University of Nottingham describe as a potential “fifth force” in physics.
In a new article found here, as reported by BGR, the pair say they were able to demonstrate the effect using a “simple simulations of a toy model comprising point-like satellites and an infinite domain wall.” The new theory is notable because it explains the satellite disk problem without doing away with dark matter.
Dark matter is a nonluminous material that accounts for approximately 85 percent of the matter in the universe. It can take several forms, from weakly interacting particles to high-energy randomly moving particles created in the wake of the Big Bang.
Dark matter is still not well understood by scientists. Just recently, scientists were baffled by a diffuse galaxy that appeared to be lacking dark matter. Like so much of the rest of the universe, its true nature remains a mystery.
In the meantime, scientists will continue to investigate the potential of “symmetrons” with more detailed simulations. For more science news, check out how NASA is planning to use Unreal Engine 5 to prepare astronauts for Mars, as well as how newly-discovered fossils reveal the ways in which ancient dogs differed from our own faithful companions.
Blogroll Image Credit: NASA Image and Video Library
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.