dark matter


Definition of dark matter

: nonluminous matter not yet directly detected by astronomers that is hypothesized to exist to account for various observed gravitational effects

Examples of dark matter in a Sentence

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Today, the cosmos’s origin story is in question, the identity of dark matter is anyone’s guess and supersymmetry is all but off the table, leaving gaps in our laws of nature. Quanta Magazine, "The Year in Physics," 21 Dec. 2018 There are many other theories for how direct-collapse black holes could be created: Perhaps halos of dark matter formed ultra-massive quasi-stars that then collapsed, or dense clusters of regular-mass stars merged and then collapsed. Meredith Fore, WIRED, "Where Do Supermassive Black Holes Come From?," 18 July 2019 In nearly two dozen underground laboratories scattered all over the earth, using vats of liquid or blocks of metal and semiconductors, scientists are looking for evidence of dark matter. Wired, "Dark Matter Hunters Are Looking Inside Rocks for New Clues," 13 Jan. 2019 Calculating this mass can help researchers who are studying dark matter, dark energy and the structure of the universe. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Scientists share new details about mysterious 'ghost particle'," 22 Aug. 2019 The substance that acts as a gravitational glue is dark matter. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Scientists weighed all the mass in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s mind-boggling.," 27 June 2019 The gravitino predicted by supergravity has also been posited as a candidate for the mysterious dark matter thought to outweigh the universe’s visible matter by about a factor of five. Philip Ball, Scientific American, "Supergravity Snags Super Award: $3-Million Special Breakthrough Prize," 6 Aug. 2019 Astronomers now think that nearly all galaxies—with possible exceptions—are embedded in huge haloes of dark matter. National Geographic, "https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/universe/galaxies.html," 17 Apr. 2019 The gravitational force of the dark matter would pull gas toward it and heat the gas up to millions of degrees. Quanta Magazine, "The Last of the Universe’s Ordinary Matter Has Been Found," 10 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dark matter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dark matter

1979, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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The first known use of dark matter was in 1979

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