Is the Universe Simpler Than ΛCDM?

2014-05-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Matthew Walker Abraham Loeb
<p>In the standard cosmological model, the Universe consists mainly of two invisible substances: vacuum energy with constant mass-density (where is a ‘cosmological constant’ originally proposed by Einstein and is Newton’s gravitational constant) and cold dark matter (CDM) with mass density that is currently . This ‘CDM’ model has the virtue of simplicity, enabling straightforward calculation of the formation and evolution of cosmic structure against the backdrop of cosmic expansion. Here, we review apparent discrepancies with observations on small galactic scales, which CDM must attribute to complexity in the baryon physics of galaxy formation. Yet, galaxies exhibit structural scaling relations that evoke simplicity, presenting a clear challenge for formation models. In particular, tracers of gravitational potentials dominated by dark matter show a correlation between orbital size, , and velocity, , that can be expressed most simply as a characteristic acceleration, kmspc cm s, perhaps motivating efforts to find a link between localised and global manifestations of the Universe’s dark components.</p>