What might be considered controversial new research has shown that dark matter may actually hold a very small amount of electrical charge. While this amount would be incredibly tiny and equal to just a fraction of the charge of an electron, the new discovery could nevertheless be an important one when it comes to learning more about this elusive type of matter that is still so little understood.
The new data on dark matter was conducted through the Experiment to Detect the Global Epoch of Reionisation Signature (EDGES) and theoretical physicist Avi Loeb explained that scientists should be looking at any and all data to help them better understand what comprises one-quarter of our universe, as ScienceAlert reports.
“The nature of dark matter is one of the biggest mysteries in science and we need to use any related new data to tackle it.”
While it’s important to remember that the new research on dark matter possibly containing a small electric charge has yet to be examined by other scientists, it is being reported that observations of the temperature of the hydrogen that was analyzed appears to show that it is quite different to what it was predicted to have been, as Harvard University’s Julian Munoz notes.
“If EDGES has detected cooler than expected hydrogen gas during this period, what could explain it? One possibility is that hydrogen was cooled by the dark matter.”
Scientists note that even ionized hydrogen would still be affected by small charges.
New Data Suggest Dark Matter Could Actually Have an Electric Charge https://t.co/u0bzMbc23o
— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) June 1, 2018
The Epoch of Reionisation that EDGES describes in its name is a time in the distant past approximately 200 million years after the Big Bang occurred when hydrogen first appeared on the scene and with the creation of the first stars.
EDGES has been able to look back at this important point in history by observing radio waves in the sky to better understand what was happening with hydrogen during this time period, in the hope that they could learn more about dark matter.
Both Munoz and Loeb have stated that even though the model they have created is not entirely dependent upon the results obtained through EDGES, the results of their model would be the same regardless of how EDGES ends up being interpreted, as Loeb explained.
“We’re able to tell a fundamental physics story with our research no matter how you interpret the EDGES result.”
The new study on how dark matter may hold a small electric charge can be read in Nature.