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Figure showing the morphology of the spinning scalar (left) and vector (right) boson stars. Credit: Sanchis-Gual et al.
Although researchers have been studying dark matter and trying to observe it, its nature is a longstanding scientific mystery. The standard cosmological model suggests that approximately one-quarter of cosmological energy and matter is almost immune to electromagnetic interactions, thus the only way to observe it is to study its gravitational effects. However, the type of particles that make up dark matter is still a subject of debate.
Theory - Attention - Decade - Matter - Particles
A theory that received considerable attention over the past decade or so hypothesizes that dark matter is at least partly made up of ultra-light particles (i.e., much lighter than electrons, for instance). These particles differ from ordinary particles in several ways. For instance, their electrons, protons or neutrons, which constitute all the elements of the periodic table, are fermions. As a result, the particles have a half-integer spin, which is equal to one-half.
The ultra-light particles proposed as dark matter candidates are known as bosons. Bosons have an integer spin, which means it could be, for instance, zero or one. The key difference between fermions and bosons is that fermions follow the so-called Pauli exclusion principle, which states that two equal fermions cannot be in the same place, as they repel each other. On the other hand, bosons can cluster on top of each other, sometimes even forming macroscopic objects made up of an astronomical number of equal bosons.
Researchers - Universidade - Lisboa - Universitat - València
Researchers at Universidade de Lisboa, Universitat de València and Universidade de Aveiro have recently carried out a fascinating study exploring the dynamics of spinning bosonic stars, which are stars formed from clusters of ultra-light bosons. Their paper, published in Physical Review Letters, provides valuable new insight into the dynamics of different types of spinning bosonic stars.
"If bosons are ultra-light, they...
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