Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Kind of Dark Matter Could Form 'Dark Atoms'

 

A new type of dark matter that forms “dark atoms” may clump into flat disks around galaxies, physicists suggest in a new theory called the double-disk dark matter model.

 The mysterious dark matter that makes up most of the matter in the universe could be composed, in part, of invisible and nearly intangible counterparts of atoms, protons and electrons, researchers say.

Dark matter is an invisible substance thought to make up five-sixths of all matter in the universe. Scientists inferred the existence of dark matter via its gravitational effects on the movements of stars and galaxies.

Most researchers think dark matter is composed of a new type of particle, one that interacts very weakly at best with all the known forces of the universe save gravity. As such, dark matter can almost never be seen or touched, and rarely even collides with itself. [Gallery: Dark Matter Across the Universe]

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