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How heavy is dark matter?

Scientists have calculated the mass range for Dark Matter and it's tighter than what was previously thought.

The new findings radically narrow the range of potential masses for Dark Matter particles and help to focus the search for future Dark Matter-hunters. The researchers used the established fact that gravity acts on Dark Matter just as it acts on the visible universe to work out the lower and upper limits of Dark Matter's mass.

The results show that Dark Matter cannot be either 'ultra-light' or 'super-heavy', as some have theorised unless an as-yet-undiscovered force also acts upon it.

The team used the assumption that the only force acting on Dark Matter is gravity and calculated that Dark Matter particles must have a mass between 10-3 eV and 107 eV. That's a much tighter range than the 10-24 eV -- 1019 GeV spectrum which is generally theorised.

What makes the discovery even more significant is that if it turns out that the mass of Dark Matter is outside of the range predicted by this team, then it will also prove that an additional force -- as well as gravity -- acts on Dark Matter.

This is the first time that anyone has thought to use what is known about quantum gravity as a way to calculate the mass range for Dark Matter.

The visible universe -- such as ourselves, the planets and stars -- accounts for 25 per cent of all mass in the universe. The remaining 75 per cent is comprised of Dark Matter.

It is known that gravity acts on Dark Matter because that's what accounts for the shape of galaxies.

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