Can superfluid be the link to understanding dark matter? | Summary and Q&A

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September 14, 2016
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World Science Festival
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Can superfluid be the link to understanding dark matter?

TL;DR

Dark matter could potentially exist in a superfluid state, similar to liquid helium, where it behaves coherently and could be responsible for certain gravitational phenomena in the universe.

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Key Insights

  • ๐Ÿซ— Dark matter could potentially exist in a superfluid state, similar to liquid helium.
  • ๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ In a superfluid state, dark matter particles behave coherently and in unison.
  • ๐Ÿ‘‹ Sound waves, called phonons, in the dark matter superfluid may mediate gravitational forces.
  • ๐Ÿ›„ The theory aims to explain both cosmological phenomena and the properties of galaxies.
  • ๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ Dark matter may behave differently in galaxy clusters compared to galaxies.
  • ๐Ÿš„ High speeds in clusters prevent dark matter particles from exhibiting superfluid behavior.
  • ๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ The theory of dark matter as a superfluid is speculative but combines successes from cosmology and galaxy studies.

Transcript

Justin you have been looking at real structures here and possibilities for what Dark Matter might consist of explain yeah so I've been working on this theory in which dark matter actually forms a superfluid state so a superfluid I don't know if we have maybe animation of that but so we know of super fluids in the laboratory the most famous example ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does a superfluid state differ from a normal fluid state?

Unlike normal fluids, a superfluid remains fluid even at absolute zero temperature. It is a manifestation of quantum mechanics and exhibits coherent behavior.

Q: What conditions are required for dark matter to form a superfluid state?

Dark matter would need to be densely packed with a large number of particles and be at very cold temperatures, similar to those achieved in laboratories with other substances.

Q: Can dark matter in a superfluid state explain both the properties of galaxies and the cosmic microwave background?

Yes, the theory combines the successes of dark matter in cosmology with attempts to explain galactic properties within a unified framework.

Q: How does the behavior of dark matter differ in galaxy clusters compared to galaxies?

In massive galaxy clusters, dark matter particles are moving at high speeds, which places them above the transition temperature for a superfluid state. Therefore, they behave more like normal particles rather than coherently.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Dark matter may form a superfluid state, similar to liquid helium, where it remains a fluid even at extremely low temperatures.

  • In this superfluid state, dark matter particles behave coherently rather than as individual entities, potentially explaining certain gravitational forces.

  • The theory suggests that sound waves, known as phonons, in the dark matter superfluid could mediate the type of force observed in galaxies.

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