Researchers from the University of Sussex have calculated the mass range for Dark Matter for the first time and it is much tighter than thought
Using the fact that gravity acts on Dark Matter just as it acts on the visible universe to work out the lower and upper limits of Dark Matter’s mass, the scientists found that Dark Matter cannot be either ‘ultra-light’ or ‘super-heavy’.
The team used the assumption that the only force acting on Dark Matter is gravity, and calculated that Dark Matter particles must have a mass between 10-3 eV and 107 eV, much tighter than the 10-24 eV – 1019 GeV spectrum which is generally theorised.
Professor Xavier Calmet from the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex, said:
“This is the first time that anyone has thought to use what we know about quantum gravity as a way to calculate the mass range for Dark Matter. We were surprised when we realised no-one had done it before – as were the fellow scientists reviewing our paper.
“What we’ve done shows that Dark Matter cannot be either ‘ultra-light’ or ‘super-heavy’ as some theorise – unless there is an as-yet unknown additional force acting on it. This piece of research helps physicists in two ways: it focuses the search area for Dark Matter, and it will potentially also help reveal whether or not there is a mysterious unknown additional force in the universe.”
Folkert Kuipers, a PhD student working with Professor Calmet, at the University of Sussex, said:
“As a PhD student, it’s great to be able to work on research as exciting and impactful as this. Our findings are very good news for experimentalists as it will help them to get closer to discovering the true nature of Dark Matter.”
The full report is due to be published in Physics Letters B in March