Mar 1, 2024

Researchers using pulsar measurements to probe dark matter find Milky Way galaxy is highly dynamic

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Dark matter comprises more than 80% of all matter in the cosmos but is invisible to conventional observation, because it seemingly does not interact with light or electromagnetic fields. Now Dr. Sukanya Chakrabarti, the Pei-Ling Chan Endowed Chair in the College of Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), along with lead author Dr. Tom Donlon, a UAH postdoctoral associate, have written a paper to help illuminate just how much dark matter there is in our galaxy and where it resides by studying the gravitational acceleration of binary pulsars.

Chakrabarti gave a plenary talk on this work and other methods to measure galactic accelerations at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in New Orleans in January. The findings are also posted on the arXiv preprint server.

Pulsars are rapidly rotating that blast out pulses of radiation at regular intervals ranging from seconds to milliseconds. A binary pulsar is a pulsar with a companion that allows physicists to test general relativity because of the strong gravitational fields accompanying these objects. “Pulsars are fantastic galactic clocks that have a timing stability that rivals atomic clocks,” Chakrabarti explains.

Leave a reply