One of the biggest challenges to our traditional understanding of the cosmos is the so-called “satellite disk problem.” Essentially, scientists are confused because smaller galaxies orbit larger galaxies in thin, flat planes rather than the more disordered orbits one would expect with the Lambda model of cold dark matter (ΛCDM) – the “incredibly successful paradigm” that defines how we observe space.
In order to circumvent this problem, scientists are now postulating that particles called “symmetrons” generate invisible walls in space, which astronomers call “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 paper found here, as reported by BGR, the pair say they were able to demonstrate the effect using “simple simulations of a toy model including point satellites and an infinite domain wall.” The new theory is remarkable because it explains the satellite disk problem without removing dark matter.
Dark matter is a non-luminous material that makes up about 85% of the matter in the universe. It can take many forms, from weakly interacting particles to randomly moving high-energy particles created as a result of the Big Bang.
Dark matter is still poorly understood by scientists. Just recently, scientists were baffled by a diffuse galaxy that seemed to lack dark matter. Like 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 insights, find out how NASA plans to use Unreal Engine 5 to prepare astronauts for Mars, plus how newly discovered fossils reveal how ancient dogs differed from our own faithful companions.
Blogroll image credit: NASA Image and Video Library
Kat Bailey is senior news writer at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have any advice? DM him at @the_katbot.