The Dark Big Bang occurred a month after the birth of the Universe

Instead of one Big Bang that caused the Universe to appear 13.8 billion years ago, cosmologists are considering the possibility of a second transformational event that could explain the appearance of a huge amount of dark matter. 

A month after the Big Bang, another one could happen. Illustration: Unsplash

New data on the early Universe in the first millions of years of its existence may shed light on the mystery of the so-called Dark Big Bang, which has been troubling astronomers for half a century. 

What is Dark Matter

Dark matter is a hypothetical form of matter that does not interact with light or electromagnetic fields, but makes up approximately 27% of the known Universe. We cannot see it, but astronomers notice it due to the gravitational interaction with “ordinary” matter. Now some researchers are wondering whether the “second” Big Bang could lead to the appearance of exotic matter along with ordinary one (the so-called baryonic).

In an article in New Scientist, physics professor Katherine Freese from the University of Texas at Austin and her colleagues suggested that the “dark” Big Bang could have occurred when the Universe was less than a month old. They believe that this event could have formed several different types of dark matter, including “Darkzilla” (a reference to Godzilla) — particles of enormous size, which mass is 10 trillion times the mass of a proton. 

However, if this event had been more gradual rather than sudden, the Dark Big Bang would have generated lighter particles—”dark cannibals” that would have absorbed each other at each collision. These particles do not differ from one of the leading “candidates for dark matter” — the so-called “weakly interacting massive particles” (WIMPs). With their help, astronomers have been trying for decades to explain mysterious forces that go beyond the Standard Model of physics. 

Phase transitions

Cosmologists are now wondering if the Universe, instead of one large-scale event, could have gone through several phase transitions leading to the appearance of everything from baryonic to dark matter. 

By measuring perturbations in the signals sent by strongly magnetised neutron stars (pulsars), scientists, hoping to get an idea of the early days of our world, are trying to pinpoint the origin of gravitational waves — pulsations of space-time. They suggest that the study of such waves arising on the gravitational wave background of the Universe may shed more light on the theory of the Dark Big Bang. Then we will be able to get one step closer to solving the mystery of the existence of dark matter.

Earlier we reported on how the new theory revealed the future of the Universe and its end.

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