Is Dark Matter an Illusion, Neutron Star will tell us, says SISSA

Jay Kakade
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Binary Neutron Star merger Simulation of two Neutron Stars merging. (Image Credit: Credit: Miguel Bezares—GRAMS group SISSA)

According to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, accelerated expansion of universe is due a mysterious energy called Dark Matter. To explain interstellar phenomenon like this one, needs a lot of dark energy.

But what if the Dark Matter is nothing but an illusion. International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA) conducted a study to find a solution for this question. The study was published in Physical Review Letters. This study also finds answer do general relativity needs modifications.

Astronomers used advanced mathematical methods and computational efforts and produced first simulation of merging of two neutron stars, which a dark-energy like behaviour on cosmological scales. The simulation may be able to provide us the answer to existence of dark matter.



Einstein’s theory of General Relativity has achieved a great success by successfully describing gravitational force on different mechanisms. It successfully passed tests regarding Earth and solar system. But when questions regarding accelerated expansion of universe are asked, astronomers need to introduce components like Dark Matter and Dark Matter. (All these components are still mystery)

Enrico Barausse, astrophysicist at SISSA says, “The existence of dark energy could be just an illusion. the accelerated expansion of the Universe might be caused by some yet unknown modifications of general relativity, a sort of 'dark gravity’.” Enrico questioned existence of Dark Matter saying it may be an illusion and accelerated expansion of universe might be because of our break downed study of gravity.

Merger of binary Neutron Stars Stimulated version of Binary Neutron Stars Merging. (Image Credit: Credit: Miguel Bezares—GRAMS group SISSA)

According to astronomers, merger of two neutron stars can be a best situation to test our hypothetical components like Dark Matter. This is because gravity at this point of time is at its extreme.

Neutron Stars are the densest of all stars. Even a star of 10 kilometres in radius can contain one to two times of mass of Sun. Collision of two Neutron stars make gravity and Space-Time around them extreme, allowing to generate plenty of gravitational waves. Observing such events can enhance our understanding of Gravity and test Einstein’s theory.



The study published in Physical Review Letters is a collaboration between SISSA and CINECA. Team said, creating such stimulations is extremely challenging. It needs continuous computational efforts on Supercomputers for months.

Barausse said, “Surprisingly, we found that the 'dark gravity' hypothesis is equally good as general relativity at explaining the data acquired by the LIGO and Virgo interferometers during past binary neutron star collisions. Indeed, the differences between the two theories in these systems are quite subtle, but they may be detectable by next-generation gravitational interferometers, such as the Einstein telescope in Europe and Cosmic Explorer in U.S. This opens the exciting possibility of using gravitational waves to discriminate between dark energy and 'dark gravity',”

References
  1. Physical Review Letters: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.091103
  2. Phys.org: Dark Energy
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