Monday, November 18, 2013

What Dark Matter Reveals About the Structure of the Universe

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Dark matter is the vast majority of the mass of the entire universe.  It’s the mass that holds all galaxies together, and in fact, led to the formation of galaxies.  And it also holds clusters together and it made the most important contribution to the organization of the structure of the universe. 

We already know that the dark matter is cold.  I invented this terminology back in 1983, calling the dark matter hot, warm or cold depending on how rapidly it’s moving in the early stages of the Big Bang.  Hot if it’s moving at nearly the speed of light, cold if it’s moving so slowly that its motion hardly matters, and warm is an intermediate case.

We know that the dark matter has to be pretty cold, but it could be a little bit warm.  And that would make a great difference to what we call small scale structure, the amount of satellite galaxies and things like that.  We don’t yet know the real nature of the dark matter beyond that it’s pretty cold. 

For the rest of the story: http://bigthink.com/in-their-own-words/what-dark-matter-reveals-about-the-structure-of-the-universe?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bigthink%2Fmain+%28Big+Think+Main%29

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