Recent findings on makeup of universe may spawn new research

Jul 16, 2013
Dr. Massimiliano (Max) Bonamente, University of Alabama in Huntsville associate professor of physics, who helped then-UAH graduate student David Landry author a paper that concludes that baryons making up all visible matter – once thought to be missing – are present in the expected ratios in large, luminous galactic clusters.

(Phys.org) —New areas of extragalactic study may emerge from research by University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) astrophysicists using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory to conclude that baryons making up all visible matter – once thought to be missing from clusters – are present in the expected ratios in large, luminous clusters.

The new research studied very large and concludes that they indeed contain the proportion of visible matter that is being worked out as part of the Big Bang Theory. The paper was authored by then-graduate student David Landry with Dr. Massimiliano (Max) Bonamente, UAH associate professor of physics, Paul Giles and Ben Maughan of the University of Bristol, U.K., and Marshall Joy of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Dr. David Landry is now a scientist at Corvid Technologies in Huntsville, Ala.

The work may prompt new efforts to explain past research findings that some clusters have a deficit in baryons from what is expected. The universe is composed of about 75 percent dark energy and 25 percent matter. Of the portion that is matter, about 16 percent is the familiar that is all around us and the remaining 84 percent is .

"We call it dark matter because we don't know what it is made of, but it is made of some type of particles and it doesn't seem to emit visible energy," said Dr. Bonamente. Together dark energy, dark matter and ordinary form a pie chart of the mass of the universe, where everything has to add up to 100 percent. "We don't know what dark matter is," he said, "but we have the means to put the pie together."

While has a repulsive energy, dark matter and baryonic matter have an attractive force where "everything likes to clump together" to form stars and planets and galaxies, said Dr. Bonamente. Using x-rays, astrophysicists discovered that there is a diffuse hot that fills the space between galaxies.

"Basically, the space between galaxies is filled with this hot plasma that is 100 million degrees in temperature," said Dr. Bonamente. Because the gas is so diffuse, it has very low heat capacity. "It is like if I posed this question to you: Which would you rather put your finger in, a boiling cup of water or a room that had been heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit? You choose the room because the temperature inside it is more diffused than it would be in the concentrated cup of water, and so you can tolerate it."

So why doesn't the hot gas simply escape? "It is bound to the cluster by gravity," said Dr. Bonamente. "With hot gas, you can do two things. You can measure the regular matter, which is the baryon content. And two, since the hot gas is bound, you can measure how much matter it would take to hold the gas and therefore you can tell how much dark matter there is.

"All of a sudden, there is something really wonderful about the hot gas," he said. "You can have your cake and eat it, too."

Theoretically, the universe should contain the same proportions of visible and dark matter regardless of where it is sampled. Using cosmic microwave radiation readings, astrophysicists have been able to do a type of forensics of the universe's past, and those findings have shown the proportions that were present at the Big Bang or shortly thereafter.

"Because it started in the Big Bang, that ratio should persist," Dr. Bonamente said. "It is like if I go to the ocean with a scoop. The scoop of water I get should have the same concentration of salt as the rest of the ocean, no matter where I get it."

But past research had indicated that some clusters were short on the expected percentage of baryons, posing the question of where they were.

"Since recently, people believed that clusters had less than 16 percent of baryons, so there were missing baryons," Dr. Bonamente said. "We said no, they are there. So, how did we find clusters with this correct ratio? We studied the most luminous ones, because they have more mass and retain more baryons."

The findings could open new areas of investigation into why the deficits in baryons were recorded in past research. Dr. Bonamente suggests one theory. "We know that some smaller clusters do have lower concentrations of baryons than the larger ones," he said. Perhaps because of weaker gravitational forces, the hot gases escaped in similar fashion as planets that have no atmosphere. "Maybe the gas can be bound but maybe a little bit can fly off if there is just not quite enough gravity."

For further studies on smaller clusters, Dr. Bonamente looks forward to the arrival of new faculty member Dr. Ming Sun, formerly at the University of Virginia, who is an expert on groups having less than 16 percent baryons.

"I am excited that Ming has decided to join our research group," says Dr. Bonamente."With him on board, UAH is poised to continue making discoveries on the makeup of the universe, and that is the most exciting question to answer that I can think of."

Explore further: Hubble sees 'ghost light' from dead galaxies

More information: "Chandra Measurements of a Complete Sample of X-ray Luminous Galaxy Clusters: the Gas Mass Fraction;" Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society; Oxford University Press; dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt901

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User comments : 14

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Tuxford
1 / 5 (12) Jul 16, 2013
The most luminous clusters have greater mass density, accelerating the conversion of the dark matter refractive substrate into baryonic matter, thereby enhancing the ratio. To conclude that less luminous clusters retain the same ratio is an act of faith in the Big Bang Fantasy. Let us pray with the astrophysicists.
hemitite
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 16, 2013
Big Bang Fantasy - you must have read that dinosex article!
hemitite
1 / 5 (1) Jul 16, 2013
Tux,

The guy didn't claim that all clusters have the same baryon ratio, but conjectured that smaller clusters may have lost their hot gas do to their weaker gravitational fields.

I suppose that the hot gas has mostly originated from the blazer eruptions of galactic black holes. If so, that may have given this sort of gas an extra boost out of lesser galactic clusters.
vacuum-mechanics
1 / 5 (15) Jul 16, 2013
…. The universe is composed of about 75 percent dark energy and 25 percent matter. Of the portion that is matter, about 16 percent is the familiar visible matter that is all around us and the remaining 84 percent is dark matter.
"We call it dark matter because we don't know what it is made of, but it is made of some type of particles and it doesn't seem to emit visible energy," said Dr. Bonamente. ….

Maybe if we think that the dark matter is just a manifest part of the dark energy (instead of just got stuck with particle concept) then we could understand it.
While dark energy has a repulsive energy, dark matter and baryonic matter have an attractive force where "everything likes to clump together" to form stars and planets and galaxies,...


Only this concept of dark energy could has a repulsive energy,….
http://www.vacuum...14〈=en
LarryD
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 16, 2013
I don't like the choice of analogy, '...The scoop of water I get should have the same concentration of salt as the rest of the ocean, no matter where I get it....' Why would one assume that? Salinity does vary and that's not surprising given the number of varibles involved, melting of ice, river water, ocean currents, evaporation, rain, etc. This not to mention just how deep the scoop would go. Besides, we exist IN the universe and not outside so the scoop analogy isn't appropriate.
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (8) Jul 17, 2013
Sub: Change in Concepts needed-Open End Approach
Matter and Energy have different modes of interaction.
Search Origins- Cosmology Vedas clearly define Cosmic function of the Universe.Plasma Regulated Electromagnetic Phenomena in magnetic field environment -see projections in my books.Interaction welcom on JNANAM Udbhavam-Knowledge Base creation-2013.

Tuxford
1 / 5 (6) Jul 18, 2013
What, no big bang....Say it ain't so....or do as Physorg has so far, and just ignore this news, since it challenges convenient fantasy. Deviant thought must be punished.

http://www.huffin...136.html
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2013
What, no big bang....Say it ain't so....or do as Physorg has so far, and just ignore this news, since it challenges convenient fantasy. Deviant thought must be punished.


First the idea has to deal with all the other evidence that proves that current expansion is real. A static universe is gravitationally unstable so he has to come up with a dynamic model that works with ALL the evidence, not just one aspect.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (7) Jul 18, 2013
First the idea has to deal with all the other evidence that proves that current expansion is real. A static universe is gravitationally unstable so he has to come up with a dynamic model that works with ALL the evidence, not just one aspect.


Proof? No. Biased conclusions. Gravitationally unstable? Again, based on biased conclusions perhaps, that gravity effects over infinite range. Just common un-sensical. Fits the convenient relativistic math though, so must be true. Let us pray to the relativists.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2013
First the idea has to deal with all the other evidence that proves that current expansion is real. A static universe is gravitationally unstable so he has to come up with a dynamic model that works with ALL the evidence, not just one aspect.


Proof?


At short range, gravity increases with reducing separation. That makes it unstable.

At long range, you can add a cosmological constant as Einstein tried but that just makes it unstable another way. Objects too far apart accelerate away from each other while those too close fall together. Simple common sense.
no fate
1 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2013
"Basically, the space between galaxies is filled with this hot plasma that is 100 million degrees in temperature,"

"So why doesn't the hot gas simply escape? "It is bound to the cluster by gravity," said Dr. Bonamente.

It couldn't possibly be that the same mechanism responsible for heating the plasma to this temperature is the one responsible for where we find it. That would be too easy.

Fleetfoot
not rated yet Jul 19, 2013
"Basically, the space between galaxies is filled with this hot plasma that is 100 million degrees in temperature,"

"So why doesn't the hot gas simply escape? "It is bound to the cluster by gravity," said Dr. Bonamente.

It couldn't possibly be that the same mechanism responsible for heating the plasma to this temperature is the one responsible for where we find it. That would be too easy.


SNe shocks and ultraviolet radiation from hot stars heat it but also push it away. You need something to oppose that to keep it bound. We know gravity works that way and the figures match.
no fate
1 / 5 (1) Jul 19, 2013
Fleetfoot, gravity doesn't effect plasma when it is a close range force, let alone at the distance we are dealing with here. The figures for SNe and UV sources for heating this plasma to that temeprature would also be interesting to see.
Fleetfoot
not rated yet Jul 19, 2013
Fleetfoot, gravity doesn't effect plasma when it is a close range force, let alone at the distance we are dealing with here.


Gravity affects everything. At long range, the charges in plasma cancel so it behaves exactly like neutral gas. Whatever you may imagine, the fact is that observations of intra-galactic gas confirm this.

The figures for SNe and UV sources for heating this plasma to that temeprature would also be interesting to see.


You'd have to do some digging for the detailed papers, I don't have them to hand.

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