Invisible walls in space may explain a problem that has puzzled scientists

Invisible walls in space may explain a problem that has puzzled scientists

One of the greatest challenges to our traditional understanding of the cosmos is the so-called “satellite disc problem”. In essence, scientists are confused because smaller galaxies orbit larger galaxies in thin, flat planes, rather than in the messier orbits that would be expected from the lambda cold dark matter model (ΛCDM) – the “fantastic successful paradigm” that defines how we observe space.

To circumvent this problem, scientists now posit that particles called “symmetrons” create invisible walls in space that astronomers call “domain walls.” This, in turn, creates what University of Nottingham astronomers Aneesh Naik and Clare Burrage describe as a potential “fifth force” in physics.

Scientists think they have an explanation for why smaller galaxies orbit larger galaxies on flat planes.  Photo credit: NASA Image and Video Library

Scientists think they have an explanation for why smaller galaxies orbit larger galaxies on flat planes. Photo credit: NASA Image and Video Library

In a new article, which can be found here, as reported by BGR, the two say they were able to demonstrate the effect using a “simple simulation of a toy model with point-like satellites and an infinite domain wall.” The new theory is notable because it explains the satellite disk problem without eliminating the dark matter.

Dark matter is a non-luminous material that makes up about 85 percent of the matter in the universe. It can take various forms, from weakly interacting particles to high-energy, randomly moving particles created after the Big Bang.

Dark matter is still not well understood by scientists. Just recently, scientists were stunned by a diffuse galaxy that appeared to lack dark matter. Like so much in the rest of the universe, its true nature remains a mystery.

In the meantime, scientists will continue to explore the potential of “Symmetrons” with more detailed simulations. For more science news, see how NASA plans to use Unreal Engine 5 to prepare astronauts for Mars and how newly discovered fossils reveal the differences between ancient dogs and our own faithful companions.

Blogroll image credit: NASA Image and Video Library

Kat Bailey is Senior News Editor at IGN and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have a tip? DM her to @the_katbot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.