Although this may well turn out to be one of those stories that isn’t quite as exciting as it sounds, a new study might have discovered more clues to a “fifth dimension” that could help explain dark matter. Understood as a dimension where gravity and electromagnetism come together, this could be a way for us to observe dark matter, and understand more about its impact on the universe. As ominous as it sounds, classifying a gateway to this realm could be an important step towards our knowledge of basic physical forces.
According to recent reports, scientists are trying to account for dark matter by building upon the established theory of a warped extra dimension. As MovieWeb puts it:
“Javier Castellano, Matthias Neubert, and Adrián Carmona have been studying fermion masses, which they “believe could be communicated into the fifth dimension through portals, creating dark matter relics and ‘fermionic dark matter’ within the fifth dimension.” The scientists are using new physics as a way to study further into what could possibly be a portal into the 5th dimension. “We know that there is no viable [dark matter] candidate in the [standard model of physics],” the scientists say, “so already this fact asks for the presence of new physics.”
What we know about this area is relatively limited, and this research looks at fermion masses that could be entering the fifth dimension through portals, and creating the dark matter that we can’t currently explain. According to the theory, fermion masses that are pushed into a warped dimension might be creating relics, and may explain the 75 percent of dark matter that we can’t yet observe. A future type of gravitational wave detector could then be the solution to identify and observe the behavior of fermionic dark matter.
At least, I think that’s what the project is trying to achieve. For now, it seems that we’re a while off gaining a deeper understanding of dark matter, although solving at least some of its mysteries would be a great leap forward. Like mirror universes or time travel, dark matter seems to be a go-to for sci-fi and fantasy writers, from powering starships in Futurama to multiple uses in Star Trek, as well as providing key plot points in the His Dark Materials series and The Flash. We can only imagine that any new breakthroughs would be great fodder for future fiction, so look forward to seeing what the study reveals.