American physicists have theoretically justified the possibility of the existence of a special type of force that explains the property of dark matter to escape observation. To describe them, the authors used a mathematical approach based on the principle of additional dimensions. The results of the study are published in the journal Journal of High Energy Physics.
Scientists estimate that dark matter accounts for about 85 percent of the material universe. But, unlike ordinary matter, dark matter cannot be detected, nor can its properties be changed, since it does not absorb, reflect, or emit light.
Physicists from the University of California, Riverside, have suggested that there is an additional dimension in space-time, in which we should look for dark matter. This hypothesis is a variant of the theory of self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) – according to it, virtually invisible particles interact with each other through an unknown dark force, as a result of which they cease to behave like particles and become completely invisible.
“We live in an ocean of dark matter, but we know very little about what it can be. We know that it exists, but we don’t know how to look for it, and we can’t explain why we didn’t find it where we expected it to be,” Philip Tanedo, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, said in a university press release. “Over the past decade, physicists have come to understand that the interactions of dark matter can be controlled by hidden dark forces. They can completely rewrite the rules of how to search for dark matter.”
The authors proved that the action of dark forces, due to which particles are mutually attracted or repelled, can be described using the mathematical theory of additional dimensions.
“The observable universe has three dimensions. We assume that there may be a fourth dimension that only the dark forces “know” about. The extra dimension may explain why dark matter is so well hidden from our attempts to study it in the laboratory,” says the scientist.
The researchers note that while extra dimensions may seem like an exotic idea, it is actually a well-known mathematical technique for describing three-dimensional quantum mechanical fields that do not contain ordinary particles. In mathematics, it is called the holographic principle. It is considered that it is not suitable for describing natural systems.
Ordinary forces are described by a single type of particle with a fixed mass. The key feature of the theory proposed by the authors is that dark matter particles are described as a continuum — an infinite number with different masses.
According to the authors, previous models of dark matter were based on theories that mimic the behavior of visible particles. But in the real world, there are no analogs of dark forces, and real matter may not interact with them.
The researchers call their model a “continuum” version of the theory of self-interacting dark matter. In contrast to the classical version, it describes the interactions of not identical particles, but their continuum. “Our model goes further and simplifies the explanation of the cosmic origin of dark matter than the model of self-interacting dark matter. This is a more realistic picture for the dark force,” Tanedo concluded.