A recent study suggests that the universe is much older, and that the dark matter doesn't exist

A recent study suggests that the universe is much older, and that the dark matter doesn't exist

How old is the universe exactly? Does dark matter exist? With each passing year, scientists continue to unearth new evidence challenging established theories. Here's everything we know so far.

In a groundbreaking departure from conventional thought, University of Ottawa physics professor Rajendra Gupta's latest research paper presents a bold theory: the universe may be twice as old as previously estimated, and dark matter, a longstanding puzzle in astrophysics, might not exist at all.

Dark matter, believed to comprise a significant portion—26 percent—of the universe's mass, has confounded scientists for decades due to its elusive nature. While it exerts gravitational influence, it remains impervious to detection by light or electromagnetic fields.

Gupta's provocative paper, published in the Astrophysical Journal, challenges this prevailing notion, suggesting that dark matter's role in cosmological models may be redundant. By reevaluating the universe's age — previously estimated at 26.7 billion years — Gupta argues that the existence of dark matter becomes superfluous.

"Our previous research on the universe's age led us to the discovery that dark matter is not essential," Gupta stated. He argues that prevailing theories linking the universe's accelerated expansion to dark energy—distinct from dark matter and comprising about 68 percent of total energy—may be misguided.

Drawing inspiration from Swiss physicist Fritz Zwicky's "tired light" hypothesis, Gupta proposes an alternative explanation. This hypothesis posits that the redshift observed in distant celestial objects could result from energy loss over vast cosmic distances. Paired with a novel "covariance coupling constant," which suggests a reduction in natural forces over time, Gupta argues that dark matter's inclusion in cosmological equations may be unnecessary.

"In standard cosmology, the accelerated expansion attributed to dark energy is, in fact, a consequence of diminishing natural forces during cosmic expansion, not dark energy itself," Gupta explains.

Gupta's controversial assertions are sure to spark lively debate among experts. "While challenges to the existence of dark matter have been voiced previously, mine is the first to dismiss its cosmological significance while remaining consistent with crucial cosmological observations," Gupta says. As the conclusion, the researcher states "We now have additional confidence to continue with the development of CMB and BBN codes tailored to the new model for testing it further.