Definitions for dark matter

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word dark matter

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

dark′ mat`ter(n.)

  1. a hypothetical form of matter invisible to electromagnetic radiation, postulated to account for gravitational forces observed in the universe.

    Category: Physics

Origin of dark matter:

1920–25

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dark matter(noun)

    (cosmology) a hypothetical form of matter that is believed to make up 90 percent of the universe; it is invisible (does not absorb or emit light) and does not collide with atomic particles but exerts gravitational force

Wiktionary

  1. dark matter(Noun)

    Particles of matter that cannot be detected by their radiation but whose presence is inferred from gravitational effects.

Freebase

  1. Dark matter

    In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is a type of matter hypothesized to account for a large part of the total mass in the universe. Dark matter cannot be seen directly with telescopes; evidently it neither emits nor absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation at any significant level. Instead, its existence and properties are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, radiation, and the large-scale structure of the universe. According to the Planck mission team, and based on the standard model of cosmology, the total mass–energy of the universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy. Thus, dark matter is estimated to constitute 84.5% of the total matter in the universe and 26.8% of the total content of the universe. Dark matter came to the attention of astrophysicists due to discrepancies between the mass of large astronomical objects determined from their gravitational effects, and the mass calculated from the "luminous matter" they contain: stars, gas and dust. It was first postulated by Jan Oort in 1932 to account for the orbital velocities of stars in the Milky Way, and by Fritz Zwicky in 1933 to account for evidence of "missing mass" in the orbital velocities of galaxies in clusters. Subsequently, many other observations have indicated the presence of dark matter in the universe, including the rotational speeds of galaxies by Vera Rubin, in the 1960s–1970s, gravitational lensing of background objects by galaxy clusters such as the Bullet Cluster, the temperature distribution of hot gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies, and more recently the pattern of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. According to consensus among cosmologists, dark matter is composed primarily of a not yet characterized type of subatomic particle. The search for this particle, by a variety of means, is one of the major efforts in particle physics today.

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