According to the Big Bang Theory, proposed by Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître in 1927, the Universe came into existence after a big bang believed to have taken place some 13.8 billion years ago and its expansion could be traced back to a single point.
Till date this theory has been the predominant analysis on the history and creation of the Universe.
However, a new study published by Johns Hopkins University places a lot of question marks on the veracity of the Big Bang Theory. Published on August 7, the new study suggests that dark matter may have existed before the creation of the Universe. Previously it was held that Dark matter, the mysterious non-light emitting extra mass in the universe that exerts a gravitational pull, may actually be made up of primordial black holes that originated with the Big Bang.
Tommi Tenkanen, a postdoctoral fellow in Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and the study’s author said, “The study revealed a new connection between particle physics and astronomy. If dark matter consists of new particles that were born before the Big Bang, they affect the way galaxies are distributed in the sky in a unique way. This connection may be used to reveal their identity and make conclusions about the times before the Big Bang too.”
Although it is not directly observable, scientists know dark matter exists by determining its gravitation effects on how visible matter moves and is distributed in space.
“If dark matter were truly a remnant of the Big Bang, then in many cases researchers should have seen a direct signal of dark matter in different particle physics experiments already,” says Tenkanen.
Resorting to a simple new mathematical framework, the study showed dark matter may have been produced before the Big Bang, during an era known as the cosmic inflation when space was expanding very rapidly. The notion of dark matter pre-dating the Big Bang is not new, yet other scientists have failed to provide calculations that support the idea.
The new study shows researchers overlooked the simplest possible mathematical scenario for dark matter’s origins, according to the study author.
“We will soon learn more about the origin of dark matter when the Euclid satellite is launched in 2022. It’s going to be very exciting to see what it will reveal about dark matter and if its findings can be used to peak into the times before the Big Bang,” concluded the scientist.