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When Dark Matter Gets Fuzzy

14 Aug 2020, 16:00 UTC
When Dark Matter Gets Fuzzy
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What model of dark matter best describes our universe? A new study uses a unique region in our own galaxy to constrain one particular model: that of fuzzy dark matter.
A Matter of Modeling
There are many models describing the composition and behavior of dark matter, and how its evolution has affected the structure of our universe. [AMNH]Observations of our universe tell us that only 15% of the universe’s matter is the ordinary baryonic matter that we’re able to see. The remaining 85% is dark matter — mysterious material that has shaped the structure and evolution of our universe via its gravitational interactions, but that doesn’t give off any light.
Because we can’t directly observe it, dark matter is still a relative unknown — and there are many different hypothesized models that describe its nature. Is dark matter hot? Cold? Composed of subatomic particles? Or macroscopic objects like primordial black holes? There’s a model for all of these options, and the best way to test them is to compare their predictions to the actual structure that we observe.
Plot of gas surface density from a simulation showing the formation of the CMZ — seen as the high-density gas ring at ...

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