## Dark Matter: what is it

Okay, first off i wanna say thanks once again, but the math part confuses me more, mainly because i suck at mathematics at this point in my studies.

anyway this is what i have read in regards to DM. Please bare with me:

 the stars originally in the halos of galaxies in clusters must currently permeate intergalactic space. Tidal forces between colliding galaxies during the first billion years of the cluster's existence stripped the outer halos of stars. Stripping was effective beyond a radius of about 100,000 light years in a typical galaxy. From observations of the Doppler shifts of their spectra, we infer that the cluster galaxies move at rather high random velocities. Because we can measire the dimensions of a cluster, we can compute how much mass must be present within the rapidly moving galaxies to contain the expansion. (if this mass were not present, the galaxies would simply fly apart, there would be no cluster.) the result is surprising; the required amount of mass per galaxy is several times as large as that inferred by other types of measurements, usually of nearby galaxies, whose dynamics we can study in suffiecient detail to infer their masses. For example, by measuring the rate at shich a nearby galaxy is roatating, we can infer its mass. We can also measure the velocities of nearby galaxies ina number of isolated close pairs to determine the average mass of the pair. We can make these statements rather more precise by introducing the mass-luminosity ratio. We measure luminosity directly and, for every unit of luminosity (usually expressed in units of solar luminosity), we can assign a certain number of units of mass (expressed in solar masses). Thus, the sun has a mass -luminosity ratio of 1; the visible regions of the Milky Way galaxy, which consist for the most part of stars less massive and considerably less luminous than the sun, have a mass-luminosity ratio between 200 and 400. Measurements of individial elliptical galaxies yield a mass-luminosity ratio of about 8, although this result is applicable only the central region luminous regions. By studying radio emmision from meutral hydrogen, scientists have been able to measure the rate at which a spiral galaxy rotates. We can follow to the extreme parts of the galaxy should be more weakly bound. They should therefore experience a weaker centrifugal force and be rotating less rapidly But this is contrary to what is found. It appears from the measurements atht spirals have larger mass-luminosity ratios than we would predict from studying their luminous inner regions More mass must be present than we havepreviously realized. their net mass-luminosity ratios must be about 30 or even larger, Precisely what for this non luminous matter take in the out regions , or halos is not known. rotation curves probe the outer regions of spiral galaxies, where there is little luminous matter. two different techniques have been used to study ellipticals, which are gas poor and therefore not amenable to rotation curve studies at large distances from the center of the galaxies. X-ray emmision has been discovered around ellipticals. the x-rays are produced by hot gas at about 10 million kelvins, gravitionally confined in the halos of the elliptical galaxies. To confine the gas reuires a considerable amount of mass: it is inferred that the ratio of total mass, including dark halo, to optical luminosity, which comes entirely from the inner regions, may be as large as 50. Antoerh discovery also indicates a considerable amount of dark matter in the halo of the elliptical. Elliptical galaxies reveal the presence of faint shells on deep photographic plate. These shells extend out two or three times as far as the bulk of the starlight. As many as 20 shells have been discovered around one bright galaxy. the shells appear to be fossil "splashes" remaining from a merger of a smaller satellite galaxy into the core of the elliptical. the spacing of the shells are a measure of the gravitational field, and computer simulations of the merger result in a simple array of concentric shells. Modeling of the shells requires the presence of a massive dark halo. Classical methods of mass determination, based on optical studies of the luminous inner regions, leave open the possibility of galaxies having considreable amounts of mass in their extended halos. GAlaxies could be very extended indeed, concievably filling most of space with exceedingly tenous halos, In clusters, the halos were stripped during collisions between the galaxies. However the excess mass should stil be present in the intergalactic medium. But the precise form of the dark mass poses a great astrophysical puzzle. the mass cannot be very luminous, or astonomers would be able to observe it directly. It cannot be gaseous, because gas, whether hot or cold, ionized or neutral, is difficult to hide. Many searches have been performed for intergalactic gas. Some gas has been discovered in rich clusters, but not enough to account for the mass discrepancy. Perhaps the most dramatic studies of dark matter in galaxy cluster have merged from the gravitational lensing by the cluster of background galaxies. the gravity field of the cluster bends the background light, acting as a lens, and produces images that are distorted into arcs, This effect was predicted by Albert Einstein but was first detected in the 1970's. two hypostheses have merged to account for the mass that is inferred to be present in clusters and in galactic halos. One hypothesis argues that the dark mass is baryonic. It might consisst of stars of very low mass, which are so faint that they have escaped detection. Alternatively, many collapsed remnatns perhaps white dwarfs or even blackholes of an early generation of massive stars constitute the hidden mass. A second hypothesis argues that the dark matter is nonbaryonic. it consists of one of the exotic particle species that wearlier hypothesized could exist in sufficientl quantity to yield a substantial fraction of dark matter in halos and in clusters amounts to only 10 percent of the critical density required to reverse the expansion of the universe, if we measure it as the ratio of hypothesized mass to be observed luminosity averaged over a suitably large region of psace. Black holes would hav formed as a result of catastrophic stellar explosions, and the ensuing radiation shouldm in principle, be detecable. the current consensus is that if blackholes account for the dark mass in clusters of galaxies they must have fmored sufficiently early in the universe for the cosmological redshift to have hidden the associated optical emission from our observations. at a redshift of, say 10, the protogalactic radiation produced when the massive stellar precursors of the black holes evolved and collapsed would now be visible only in ther infrared region of the spectrum. I the infrared, observations are extrmely difficult because of atmospheric emission (such as the terrestial airglow) and attenuation resulting from a sbosrtion by ozone, water vapor, and other molecules. White dwarfs or neutron stars are a more conservative choice than blackhole for that matter. They are the only dark matter candidates that we can unambiguosly state must exist, although whether enough actually exist is another matter. If they are to be numerous enough to account for dark matter, white dwarfs must hav been produced by a large number of stars of moderate mass, formed early in the evolution of the galaxy. We cannot exclude such a hypothesis, but we can seek ways to test it. for example, the white dwarfs would have cooled down, but they might still be dimly visible as reddish dwarfs. the ejecta produced when compact remnants, blackholes, neutron stars, or white dwarfs formed would be chemically enriched and would show up in the composition of old stars. Studies suggest that remnants of very massive stars, either black holes or neutron stars, are implausible candidates for the dark matter unless the blackholes are much more massive than ordinary stars, but white dwarfs are a possibility. Stars of low mass also are a possible source of a small fraction of the dark mass. Stars of very low mass populating the halo of our galaxy would occasionally pass close enough to the sun to be recognizeable. Thet would appear as very faint nearby stars with appreciable proper motions and the high velocities characteristic of their halo origin. Becasue fewsuch objects are seen, the orbits of such stars must restrict them predominantly to the outer halo. Presumably, their orbits are most circular, the dynamical characteristics of these objects would make them distinct from the ordinary stars in our galaxy, which have appreciable velocities in the direction of the center, move in highly elongated orbits. Alternatively, these out halo stars could be "jupiters" essentially invisible giant planets that were not massive enough [less than 0.08 solar mass] to become stars. if we possed an adequate theory of star formation, we sgould be able to choose between hypotheses of massive versus low mass star formation. Even if low mass stars predominate, there must also have been a considerable number of massive stars in the halo of a newly formed protogalaxy the Processed gases ejected during supernova explosions of the massive stars would accounts for the origin of the neriched intergalactic matter that is observed in rich clusters of galaxies. However, our knowledge of star formation is likely to remain so imprecise that direct observations will be required to determine the form of the dark mass if it is baryonic.

 Quote by matt.o Oh, and the ICM is not exactly a bath. it has densities of around 10^-2-10^-3 electrons per cm^3, which is less dense than the best vacuums we can create on earth! Plus the ICM is optically thin, hence it doesn't absorb light.
That's interesting... As I understand it, the cosmological constant can be described in terms of the zero point energy and some have calculated how much energy this represents per unit volume. They even suggest how many particles of matter this is per volume. So my question is: how does this ICM density compare with that of the cosmological constant?

Also, I wonder if we can get the energy density from a black body radiation temperature. Thanks.

 I'm not sure that it is worthwhile comparing the density of the ICM to that of the quantum vacuum. My point was just that the ICM is not very dense.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor The average mass density of the universe [conventional] is around 1 hydrogen atom per square meter. The intergalactic medium is thought to be in the range of 10 - 100 H atoms per cubic meter. Intercluster mass density might be ~5 times denser, on average. It is a very difficult thing to model. The classical approach is based on newtonian gravity [most of this stuff does not move fast enough to worry about relativistic effects]. Dark matter is what plugs the gap to explain the apparent gravitational attraction observed, but not otherwise accounted for. DM is a rather unsavory explanation, but is more consistent with observation than the competing theories [MOND in particular]. Finding the DM particle in the lab is, however, a huge issue. It hasn't been done yet. It may also never be feasible. The energies necessary may not be achievable by any known technologies.

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 Quote by Chronos It is a very difficult thing to model. The classical approach is based on newtonian gravity [most of this stuff does not move fast enough to worry about relativistic effects].
However the non-linear GR effects of orbiting gravitating matter may be significant.
 Dark matter is what plugs the gap to explain the apparent gravitational attraction observed, but not otherwise accounted for. DM is a rather unsavory explanation, but is more consistent with observation than the competing theories [MOND in particular]. Finding the DM particle in the lab is, however, a huge issue. It hasn't been done yet. It may also never be feasible. The energies necessary may not be achievable by any known technologies.
In which case, if the DM particle is never found, what would be the scientific status of such DM?

Garth

 However, the non-linear effects have no bearing on the ICM, which also requires DM to explain why it hasn't evaporated into inter-cluster space.

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 Quote by matt.o However, the non-linear effects have no bearing on the ICM, which also requires DM to explain why it hasn't evaporated into inter-cluster space.
I totally agree - see my post #4 in More about the Cooperstock and Tieu model

Garth

I've gotten the energy density for black body radiation for a given temperature. And we have the Unruh temperature for a given acceleration. But in order to apply this Unruh temperature to the acceleration due to gravity (as required by the equivalence principle. Is this DM) I need to calculate the emount of acceleration at each point for a given mass distribution. I could try to use the inverse square law, but this goes to infinity at r=0. And points in the second iteration would then be inside the new distribution when calculating second order effects. So does anyone have a formula for the acceleration felt by test particles calculated by using the gravitational potential for a given arbitrary mass density formula? Thanks.

 Quote by Mike2 I'm seriously tempted to consider the energy density of the Unruh radiation applied to the acceleration due to gravity as possibly the source of Dark Matter? It would seem like an easy calculation to find out. First find the energy density of this assumed Unruh radiation. This would involve an integral of Planck's density spectrum over all frequencies. I've looked at this, and I think I can find a definiate integral formula to accomplish this. This would give us an energy formula at temperature. That energy can be converted to mass, and the additional gravitational effects could be calculated from that. But you'd have to find the acceleration for the Unruh formula at a given radius from the galactic center. I suppose one could use Newton's inverse squared law as a good approximation. Then apply the equation for the Unruh temperature. Then one could construct an integral over all space of this extra mass density produced by the Unruh effect applied to acceleration due to gravity. I suppose this might seem like a very small effect; but that's a lot of space, and I've not done the calculation yet. Not only that, but once you have a first approximation, then you'd have to do it all over again since now you have to take into account the existence of this first approximation results. Your galaxy just acquired more mass, so it will produce more gravitational acceleration that you realized, which requires another iteration of the process. I suppose you'd have to do this 4 or 5 times to see how quickly the series converged.

 Isn't this calculation worth doing for its own sake? If the Unruh effect of acceleration can be applied to gravitationally accelerated reference frames due to the equivalence principle, then should we try to see how much of an effect this would have?
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