Space has invisible walls created by mysterious 'symmetrons,' scientists propose

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EXCERPTS: Scientists have proposed the existence of a new “fifth force” to explain a perplexing challenge to the standard model of cosmology, also known as the Lambda cold dark matter (ΛCDM) model, a well-corroborated framework for understanding our universe, reports a new preprint study.

This fifth force, mediated by a hypothetical new particle called a symmetron, could guide small “satellite” galaxies into strange orbits around larger galaxies that defy the predictions of the ΛCDM model. In other words, small galaxies captured by the gravitational pull of larger galaxies end up arranged in thin flat planes, or disks, almost like the rings of Saturn, whereas the model suggests they should be distributed in messy orbits all around their host galaxies. Satellites in these synced-up orbits have been seen around our own galaxy, the Milky Way, as well as its closest galactic neighbors, Andromeda and Centaurus A.

Scientists have proposed many possible explanations for this curious gap between theory and observation, known as the “satellite disk problem” or the “planes of satellites problem,” which is one of many small-scale challenges to the ΛCDM model.

Now, a pair of researchers at the University of Nottingham have presented what they believe is “the first potential ‘new physics’ explanation for the observed planes of satellites which does not do away with dark matter,” referring to the unidentified substance that makes up most of the mass in the universe, according to a new study published on the preprint server arXiv.

[...] Past studies have pointed to the influence of the cosmic web, a giant superstructure that links the universe, as one potential explanation for the tidy distribution of satellite galaxies in thin planes around nearby host galaxies. The orbits may also simply be a feature of our local cosmic neighborhood and not a universal trend, according to other scientists

Naik and Burrage now propose that particles called symmetrons could generate a special force that creates invisible boundaries in space, known as “domain walls.” Symmetrons are one of many speculative particles that have been proposed to fill in some of the missing links in the standard model, Naik said, to help explain the existence of dark matter and dark energy, which is a weird phenomena that appears to be making the universe expand at an accelerated rate... (MORE - missing details)

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