Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | 2018 May 30
Astronomers have proposed a new model for the invisible material that makes up most of the matter in the Universe. They have studied whether a fraction of dark matter particles may have a tiny electrical charge.This artist's impression shows the evolution of the Universe beginning with the Big
Bang on the left followed by the appearance of the cosmic microwave background.
The formation of the first stars ends the cosmic dark ages, followed by the formation
of galaxies. (Credit: CfA/M. Weiss)
"You've heard of electric cars and e-books, but now we are talking about electric dark matter," said Julian Munoz of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., who led the study that has been published in the journal Nature. "However, this electric charge is on the very smallest of scales."
Munoz and his collaborator, Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., explore the possibility that these charged dark matter particles interact with normal matter by the electromagnetic force.
Their new work dovetails with a recently announced result from the Experiment to Detect the Global EoR (Epoch of Reionization) Signature (EDGES) collaboration. In February, scientists from this project said they had detected the radio signature from the first generation of stars, and possible evidence for interaction between dark matter and normal matter. Some astronomers quickly challenged the EDGES claim. Meanwhile, Munoz and Loeb were already looking at the theoretical basis underlying it. ...
A small amount of mini-charged dark matter could cool the baryons in the early Universe - Julian B. Muñoz, Abraham Loeb
- Nature 557(7707):684 (31 May 2018) DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0151-x