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It’s embarrassing, but astrophysicists are the first to admit it. Our best theoretical model [berkeley.edu] can only explain 5% of the universe. The remaining 95% is famously made up almost entirely of invisible, unknown material dubbed dark energy and dark matter. So even though there are a billion trillion stars in the observable universe, they are actually extremely rare.
The two mysterious dark substances can only be inferred from gravitational effects. Dark matter may be an invisible material, but it exerts a gravitational force on surrounding matter that we can measure. Dark energy is a repulsive force that makes the universe expand at an accelerating rate. The two have always been treated as separate phenomena. But my new study [arxiv.org], published in Astronomy and Astrophysics, suggests they may both be part of the same strange concept – a single, unified “dark fluid” of negative masses.
Negative masses are a hypothetical form of matter that would have a type of negative gravity – repelling all other material around them. In the new study, I propose a modification to Einstein’s theory of general relativity to allow negative masses to not only exist, but to be created continuously.
My model shows that the surrounding repulsive force from dark fluid can also hold a galaxy together. The gravity from the positive mass galaxy attracts negative masses from all directions, and as the negative mass fluid comes nearer to the galaxy it in turn exerts a stronger repulsive force onto the galaxy that allows it to spin at higher speeds without flying apart. It therefore appears that a simple minus sign may solve one of the longest standing problems in physics.