Without an actual discovery, it can be difficult to convince us laypeople that there’s really such a thing as “dark matter.” It seems to interact with our universe solely through gravity, and no experiment has detected it here on Earth yet. So what if there’s an explanation to what’s causing the dark matter’s using physics that already exists, like Higgs bosons and black holes?
A team of three European physicists has made what could be seen as a controversial statement: “The existence of dark matter might not require physics beyond the standard model.” It’s still just a hypothesis as the hunt for dark matter continues, but it’s an interesting thought to digest.
First, you might be wondering what I’m talking about at all. You only experience regular matter in your day-to-day life—it’s what makes up every planet, star, and galaxy. But astronomical observations imply that there’s gravity from six times more matter in the universe, stuff we can’t see with our eyes or instruments, called dark matter. As of yet, lots of experiments have tried and failed to identify the source of this gravity.
Then there’s the Higgs boson, the long-sought particle and associated field that permeates the universe. The Higgs addresses some of the most fundamental questions in particle physics, like why some particles that should be massless actually have mass.