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New Light On Dark Matter

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on June 20, 2003 17:05:41 UTC

A paper by that title authpred by the best known dark matter cosmologists, Ostriker and Steinhardt, appeared today in the Cornell archives at:

http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0306/0306402.pdf

Here is a copy of the abstract:

New Light on Dark Matter
Authors: Jeremiah P. Ostriker (1 and 2), Paul J. Steinhardt (2) ((1) University of Cambridge, (2) Princeton University)
Comments: 18 pages, 5 figures

Dark matter, proposed decades ago as a speculative component of the universe, is now known to be the vital ingredient in the cosmos, eight times more abundant than ordinary matter, one quarter of the total energy density and the component which has controlled the growth of structure in the universe. Its nature remains a mystery, but, assuming it is comprised of weakly interacting sub-atomic particles, is consistent with large scale cosmic structure. However, recent analyses of structure on galactic and sub-galactic scales have suggested discrepancies and stimulated numerous alternative proposals. We discuss how studies of the density, demography, history and environment of smaller scale structures may distinguish among these possibilities and shed new light on the nature of dark matter.

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