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There might be a ‘dark mirror’ universe within ours where atoms failed to form, new study proposes

The invisible stuff called dark matter remains one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology. A fresh study suggests, this strange substance possibly arises from a ‘dark mirror universe’ that’s been allied to ours since the dawn of time.

What if the realm of dark matter was a mirror of our own, but with a broken set of rules? That might explain why dark matter seems to be so plentiful yet invisible, a new theory suggests. Dark matter is the enigmatic, unknown substance that appears to make up the bulk of all the mass in the universe; for every 2 pounds of regular matter, there’s approximately 10 pounds of dark matter. It doesn’t intermingle with light or normal matter. The only way cosmologists can detect it is through its subtle gravitational effect on normal matter.

It might be easy to reason that because matter and dark matter function with different rules, one would be absolutely dominant over the other. But in spite of having wildly different properties, the amounts of dark matter and normal matter are still in the same ballpark. That seems like a weird coincidence.  To explain this, scientists suggested there could be some sort of hidden linkage between them.

The researchers hypothesized that every physical interaction in normal matter, is mirrored in the world of dark matter. This would be a novel kind of symmetry in nature, linking the normal and dark matter worlds, the scientists said. This symmetry would help explain why basically dark matter and regular matter have approximately the same abundances. In their paper, the researchers draw attention towards another strange coincidence. In the physics of normal matter, a proton and neutron have almost exactly the same mass, which allows them to bind together and form stable atoms. If a proton was just a fraction heavier, it would be utterly unstable and decay in no time, making the formation of atoms impossible. In this hypothetical scenario, the universe would be left with an ocean of free-floating neutrons.

The researchers suggest, this hypothetical, broken universe may be a reality in the dark matter mirror version of our cosmos. A special blend of physics led to a proton having approximately the same mass as a neutron; possibly in the dark matter mirror, that blend of physics played out in a different way, causing the “dark proton” to evaporate and leave behind a ocean of “dark neutrons” — what we identify as dark matter.

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