No Dark Matter? Verlinde's New Gravity Hypothesis Passes First Test
A divisive new gravity hypothesis has passed its first test and this could prove that Albert Einstein's theory is wrong.
Scientists have long been mystified about the universe, stating that the visible matter that we know cannot possibly produce all the gravity that there is in the universe.
Today, astronomers refer to Einstein's theory, that the universe's inconsistency has been explained by assuming the presence of dark matter. But despite searching for that elusive, invisible dark matter for years, researchers have come empty handed.
On the other hand, the new gravity theory, which was first proposed in 2010 by physicist Erik Verlinde from University of Amsterdam suggests that we do not need the dark matter to explain the anomalies in the universe.
Proving "Verlinde's hypothesis of gravity" could overhaul what we have long known about our universe and eradicate the possibility of dark matter.
As reported by Phys.org, a team led by astronomer Margot Brouwer from Leiden Observatory in Netherlands has tested Verlinde's theory for the first time through the gravitational lensing.
Science Alert noted that gravitational lensing is a well-established way of measuring the amount of dark matter in galaxies. The lensing of gravity is the way galaxies closer to us bend the light of more distant galaxies.
After measuring more than 33,000 galaxies, they concluded that all Verlinde's calculations agree well with the measured gravity distribution, meaning all the galaxies could be explained without the concept of dark matter.
In addition, the researchers said Verlinde's theory did not need "free parameters," which are values that can be modified a bit to make observations match a hypothesis. By contrast, says Brouwer, conventional dark matter models need four free parameters to be adjusted to explain the data, New Scientist reported.
"The dark matter model actually fits slightly better with the data than Verlinde's prediction," Brouwer tells New Scientist. "But then if you mathematically factor in the fact that Verlinde's prediction doesn't have any free parameters, whereas the dark matter prediction does, then you find Verlinde's model is actually performing slightly better."
The research has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.