Nikolaos Mavromatos of King's College London and colleagues in Athens and Texas obtained their result by studying a special "off-shell" time-dependent term (due to the dilaton) in the Boltzmann equation that describes the evolution of hot matter density as the Universe cooled down. "The formalism that this work used was developed in partial collaboration with John Ellis of CERN and Vasiliki Mitsou of IFIC, Valencia, and is a version of 'non-critical string theory'", said Mavromatos.
All the matter and radiation in the universe is thought to have been created by the Big Bang. The radiation stopped interacting with the matter some 400,000 years later -- when the universe had cooled down enough for electrons and protons to form hydrogen atoms. The density of dark matter particles such as the neutralino (a dark matter candidate favoured by many of the current "supersymmetric" approaches to particle physics) was therefore "frozen" at this time -- the so-called relic abundance.
The researchers say that the neutralino relic abundance is reduced by as much as a factor of ten in their models due to dilaton effects, as compared to standard cosmology theories. In contrast, the relic abundance of "ordinary" matter, which makes up stars, planets and humans, is only slightly diluted. The new model also agrees with the established model of nucleosynthesis (the way in which light elements were created during the first few minutes of the universe).
The new result is important for both cosmology and particle physics, says Mavromatos. Indeed, such non-equilibrium string cosmology models are on an equal footing with the standard cosmological cold dark matter model (called Lambda-CDM). For particle physics, the findings are relevant for future supersymmetric searches in colliders such as the Large Hadron Collider, due to come on-line at CERN early next year. The supersymmetric theory, one of the facets of string theory, postulates that every particle has a massive "shadow" particle partner.
Dark matter is fundamentally different from normal, luminous matter and is invisible to modern telescopes, giving off no light or heat. It appears to interact with normal matter only through gravity. Most cosmologists believe dark matter, currently thought to make up 95% of all matter in the universe, plays a crucial role in how large structures such as galaxies emerged after the Big Bang.
Charlotte Webber | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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