Dark matter, the matter that is thought to constitute around 25% of the whole Universe but which doesn’t apparently interplay with the light particles, may present a low electric charge, as reported by scientists cited by Live Science.
To date, dark matter has only been observed through the gravity shifts readings, as it is pulling galaxies and stars. However, astrophysicists Julian Munoz and Abraham Loeb from the Harvard University now strongly believe that a tiny portion of dark matter particles might carry a low electric charge which would imply that dark matter might have an interaction with ordinary matter via electromagnetic force.
Back in February, the scientists have observed, for the first time in history, the signal of an ice-cold, mysterious hydrogen cloud that originated only 180 million years after Big Bang. As hydrogen is colder than the Universe’s microwave background, this gas draws more radiations.
Scientists determined that dark matter might indeed carry a low electric charge
By calculating the radiations absorption rate of this ancient hydrogen cloud, astronomers can learn more about the early history of the Universe.
Using the Experiment to Detect the Global Age of the Reionization Signature (EDGES), located in Western Australia, the astronomers were capable of calculating the cosmic hydrogen’s radiations absorption rate and noticed that the cloud was drawing more photons than believed which, according to the scientists, means that the observed hydrogen cloud is even colder than initially predicted.
According to Munoz and Loeb, this can only be explained by electrically charged dark matter. Therefore, the researchers say, cited by Live Science, that 1% of the dark matter present there would carry a 1 millionth electric charge of one electron and so is able to remove the heat from the hydrogen.
“If EDGES is right, it seems very difficult that this is not the result of dark matter,” explained Munoz referring to the bizarre cooling of the oldest hydrogen cloud ever observed.