Dark Matter

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 24, 2022, 10:24

Any matter unknown and invisible to the naked eye is termed "Dark Matter." It is a strange realm that neither absorbs, emits, or reflects light nor does it interfere with the earth's electromagnetic forces. Hence, Dark Matter is difficult to spot, though physicists and scientists do not deny its presence.

Importance of Dark Matter

Although Dark Matter is unseeable to the naked eye, its importance cannot be denied owing to its gravitational consequences on numerous elements in the universe. Such gravitational ramifications enable the understanding of the overall structure of the universe and its various unknown territories, such as the rotation of the galaxies, etc. In fact, by studying the gravitational effects of Dark Matter, you can understand the concept of life, the existence of life on earth, and the questionable presence of habitable planets akin to earth. Astrophysicists generally believe that the existence of life wouldn't have been possible on earth sans the presence of Dark Matter.

Differences Between Dark Matter And Dark Energy

Many people often mistake Dark Matter to be akin to dark energy, however, both are opposite concepts in reality. The prime difference between the two is that, in the case of Dark Matter, its gravitational effects control the observed motion of gas clouds and stars. In contrast, dark energy causes an acceleration in the universe's expansion. In short, Dark Matter tends to slow down the universal expansion while dark energy accelerates the same.

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Is Dark Matter and a Black Hole the Same?

On a single look, one can say that the striking difference between Dark Matter and black holes is that, while the first one has never been observed directly, black holes found towards the centre of the galaxies have been directly observed by astronomers and astrophysicists.

While these two concepts are not precisely the same, certain reasons may prompt the consideration of black holes as Dark Matter. They are -

  • Both of them are almost incapable of any collision.
  • Both of them are thought to be sufficiently massive and hence stable.
  • Their velocities are non-relativistic.
  • Both of them originated towards the beginning of the universe.

Three groups of researchers, in March 2016, proposed a primordial origin to the black hole. While two of these groups consistently maintained throughout their research that almost all Dark Matter constitutes primordial black holes, the third group concluded that black holes constitute just a percent of Dark Matter.

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FAQs on Dark Matter

Q.1. What is Dark Matter?

Dark Matter in astrophysics is a matter that is invisible to the eyes. It is an unknown realm that neither absorbs, emits, or reflects light nor does it interfere with the earth's electromagnetic forces. However, it has a tremendous gravitational effect on the universe.

Q.2. Why is Dark Matter important?

Dark Matter's gravitational ramifications enable the understanding of the overall structure of the universe and its various unknown territories, such as the rotation of the galaxies and so on. In fact, according to astrophysicists, the prevalence of life is because of Dark Matter.

Q.3. What is the prime difference between Dark Matter and dark energy?

The prime difference between the two is that Dark Matter tends to slow down the universal expansion while dark energy accelerates the same.

Q.4. What is the major difference between Dark Matter and black holes?

The major difference between Dark Matter and black holes is that while the first one has never been observed directly, black holes found towards the centre of the galaxies have been directly observed by astronomers and astrophysicists.