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The true nature of dark matter revealed by Einstein’s ring?

Dark matter is still an essential component of our description of cosmology, even if the alternative is credible. We may have just clarified the nature of the particles that make them up thanks to the effect of gravitational lensing that appears in one of Einstein’s well-known rings.

Rossana Ruggieri He is a cosmologist working ondark energydark energy But apparently he’s also interested in a matter black matterblack matter As evidenced by an article I published in it Conversation which we derived from. The researcher based in Australia, more specifically at the University of Queensland, comments on a surprising discovery he made Alfred Amroth and colleagues AstrophysicistsAstrophysicists. A researcher from the University of Hong Kong publishes the results of his work in a well-known journal natural astronomya publication of which the first edition is freely available arXiv.

This is evidence for the curious behavior of dark matter that appears to manifest itself when studied with effect gravitational lensgravitational lens. Remember, dark matter seeks to explain several phenomena, including rapid birth galaxiesgalaxies and some features cosmic radiationcosmic radiationby assuming the presence of new, never-before-seen particles in the detectors that dominate the galactic world through gravitygravityacting as if the distributions of matter were larger than matter starsstars But it does not radiate or hardly.

In a vacuum, light usually travels in a straight line. But in space distorted by a huge celestial body, such as a galaxy, this trajectory goes awry! Thus, the light source behind a galaxy has an apparent location that differs from its true location: this is the phenomenon of a gravitational mirage. This video comes from the web documentary “Odyssey of Light” It was incorporated into the web documentary Getting Started with Dark Matter. © CEA, Anemia

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Dark matter, wimp or axion?

The effect of gravitational lensing in particular has been predicted by EinsteinEinstein In the thirties, though, it was thought he would forever be too weak to notice. allowed to detect massesmasses It is made of non-radioactive material and to measure its quantity because this material deflects light rays just as a lens does.

It turns out that there are two main categories of theory that prevail in the vast menagerie of theories proposed to explain the existence of dark matter particles (some prefer to modify the laws of gravity in the Mond framework). For a long time, this was the class of particles called Wimps macromolecules interact weakly, This means that massive particles interact weakly with other particles they favor. But in recent years, much lighter particles, generally called axions, have been increasingly looked at by particle astrophysicists.

There are many strategies for choosing between these two classes of theories, and one involves precisely gravitational lensing to detect and characterize dark matter distributions. We should be able to show some kind of wave interference effects in these distributions if dark matter is made up of certain types of matteraxionsaxions.

Thus, Amruth and his colleagues relied for this purpose on lens effects that produce distortions of the illuminated images in the form of rings, famous Einstein rings such as those in ” ironiron on a cosmic horse “, Cosmic horseshoea nickname given to the gravitational lensing system of two galaxies in Leo constellationLeo constellation.

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One such ring, HS 0810+2554 which can be seen in the Hubble images above, has proven particularly interesting. They found that the ring’s features were very well modeled on the assumption that dark matter is made of axions, not Wimps. However, there is still work to confirm this hypothesis.