General Question

krrazypassions's avatar

Can dark matter be explained by the supermassive black holes found in almost every galaxy?

Asked by krrazypassions (1332 points ) June 25th, 2011

Supermassive black holes have the mass of millions if not billions of stars and they are found at the center of almost all the galaxies.

These sentences are quoted from the articles that follow:
“Astronomers believe that supermassive black holes lie at the center of virtually all large galaxies…”
“Scientist believe that most galaxies, certainly all the spiral ones, have such supermassive black holes in the center….”

Have a look at the following interesting articles:-
wikipedia
space telescope. org
space telescope. org 2
NASA
daily galaxy

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33 Answers

krrazypassions's avatar

also, Dark Matter has existed in the universe since early times.. and new evidence proves that so have the black holes…
infact, development of galaxies occurred by accretion of cosmic dust around blackholes…

and same thing has been said about the dark matter here..

PhiNotPi's avatar

There are so many black holes in the universe because the first stars were suppermassive. When they collapsed, some formed massive black holes.

krrazypassions's avatar

This is a good article on Dark Energy and Dark Matter-
http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

about the supermassive black holes as the dark matter candidates, it states “we can rule out large galaxy-sized black holes on the basis of how many gravitational lenses we see. High concentrations of matter bend light passing near them from objects further away, but we do not see enough lensing events to suggest that such objects to make up the required 25% dark matter contribution.”

However, all large galaxies have supermassive blackholes.. and such blackholes have masses of millions and even billions of suns.. that means a lot of mass that may not have been accounted for- after all, we did not know that supermassive black holes are so common until recently..

Coloma's avatar

Super massive Black Holes lie within the nucleus of our atoms too.

We ARE Black Holes, literally.

Watch superb documentary ” The Black Whole” by Nassim Haramien

ETpro's avatar

@krrazypassions I can see how you would jump to that conclusion, but I think you will find it isn’t right. The reason we realized that there must be dark matter is that the visible matter and black holes of the universe don’t provide nearly enough mass for the Universe acts the way it does. We now understand that there is far more dark matter than visible matter. It seems that the dark matter came together first as the scaffolding that then drew in the visible matter to form Magellanic clouds and then ever larger galaxies. Here’s a great discussion of it. It’s a relatively large sound file, so give it a moment to load.

krrazypassions's avatar

I’ve thought about that and put my reasoning just above

and above that as well

Coloma's avatar

shit, my link failed..grrrr

ETpro's avatar

@Coloma I was able to suspend disbelief and listen to a Nassim Haramien lecture on “The Black While” right up to the point where he claimed there was a singularity in every human’s heart, and that its disappearance upon death accounts for the sudden weight chnge at death. That’s too easy a claim to debunk, and debunk it I did. No such weight change has ever reliably been shown to occur. It’s a common trope passed on by those who want to believe in a soul far more than they want to examine evidence and stick to careful scientific method. To base a physics lecture on such junk science puts me off listening to any more of what the guy has to say.

@krrazypassions Great points. I see what you are saying, and I withdraw my objection. If the dark matter was the gravitational scaffolding upon which galaxies coalesced, then the center of a galaxy’s super-massive black hole is exactly where you’d expect to find it today. Good job.

Qingu's avatar

@krrazypassions, no, it can’t.

Maybe the point of confusion here is from the name (dark matter). Black holes are dark, after all. But black holes are not the same thing as dark matter.

Dark matter is simply matter which does not interact with the electromagnetic force. Since another way of saying the word “light” in physics is “the particles that carry the electromagnetic force,” this means that dark matter is dark. But dark matter (like other matter) still interacts with gravity.

We know dark matter exists because there is not enough visible matter in the universe to explain what we’ve observed gravity to be doing.

Scientists used to think that dark matter might be made of black holes and other faint objects that we couldn’t see. Scientists whimsically called such objects MACHOs (Massive compact halo objects) as an explanation for dark matter.

But this explanation doesn’t work. Because we have other ways of observing such objects. We may not be able to see a black hole, but we can tell where black holes are and we can estimate their mass. If we add up all the black holes—including the supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, there’s still unexplained gravity.

Which is to say: black holes are not black for the same reason that “dark matter” is black. The reason dark matter is dark is because photons simply don’t interact with it. The reason black holes are dark is because they are so huge that their gravity wells are too steep for photons to escape from. (Or think of it this way: my shirt is black because of the way it interacts with photons of light, versus other colors of shirts. A deep cave is black because of its huge size and the way it is shaped. My shirt is like dark matter; the cave is like a black hole.)

Scientists now think that dark matter—i.e. the extra mass in the universe, beyond visible matter and black holes—is made of WIMPS — that is, Weakly Interacting Massive Particles—that are (unlike black holes) spread out through space, sort of like a vast fluid.

Sounds strange, right? But not really. The matter we know and love is made up of a number of particles that don’t interact with the electromagnetic force—neutrons and neutrinos. In fact, for a while some scientists thought the WIMPs were simply neutrinos! They aren’t (neutrinos move too fast for the equations to match the observations), but it’s not too strange to suspect that there are other kinds of massive particles out there.

FYI, this is a big reason why we want to learn more about the Higgs boson, — why we’ve spent so much money making the Large Hardron Collider. The Higgs boson is an idea that explains where mass itself comes from. If there are other kinds of particles out there that have mass but don’t have electromagnetic interactions—the WIMPs of dark matter—the Higgs boson would help point the way to them.

krrazypassions's avatar

@Qingu Our earlier data stated few black holes in our universe. Earlier, scientists did not say that all galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centres. Hence, the mass and gravitational effects attributed to black holes were much lesser earlier- thereby there were alternative theories of dark matter…
But now that we know all galaxies have supermassive black holes that have the mass of billions of suns and exert a great gravitational force that holds the entire galaxy around them, and also that its been separately found out that both dark matter and black holes coexisted with the evolving galaxies since the early universe
Hence, i felt that dark matter and supermassive black holes found in all galaxies were the same! ( and no, ‘dark’ and ‘black’ words did not contribute to any confusion- on the other hand, it will be quite an interesting coincidence if this theory of Supermassive Black Holes= Dark Matter is proved to be true- i’m sure experts are collecting new data and performing calculations to prove this as we breath right now)

Qingu's avatar

@krrazypassions, we didn’t know about supermassive black holes, but they did know about quasars. It’s only been sort of recently confirmed that quasars are actually the accretion disks of supermassive black holes.

And I think you are characterizing supermassive black holes as a bigger “surprise” than they actually are. I’m pretty sure scientists have known, or at least hypothesized, the existence of supermassive black holes since Einstein. I don’t think people were surprised to find out that galaxies have supermassive black holes. I think the situation was more that, we needed models of galaxy formation, we have this set of observations (including quasars), meanwhile our telescopes keep on getting better (we can’t actually see into the center of our own galaxy because there are too many stars in the way—so our observations of supermassive black holes are limited to other galaxies, which are very far away and tough to get pictures of). Slowly but surely, the consensus coalesces around supermassive black holes as the most fitting explanation.

Also—assuming that dark matter consists of WIMPs—dark matter is not mutually exclusive with black holes. Dark matter could be anywhere there is mass—including black holes. (Well, not exactly. I’m not sure if you can actually say that matter exists in a singularity or its horizon. But you catch my drift.)

Now, you could have a case where the phenomenon of dark matter actually explains why black holes are where they are. Because if there is this background of invisible WIMPs that are gravitationally attracting, they can act as the “seeds” for giant stars to form. Giant stars collapse into black holes.

mattbrowne's avatar

Even supermassive black holes can’t explain the stability of galaxies. Take the Milky Way for example. Its rotation speed would eject many stars.

They also can’t explain the gravitational attraction and collision speed of the Milky Way and Andromeda. Some other form of matter is at work here, as posted above.

krrazypassions's avatar

@mattbrowne @Qingu Oh man!!!! I thought i had cracked it :P haha…
But i’m still hopeful- just wait for the newer data to roll in through the observatories and space telescopes- supermassive black holes are the key to dark matter- if you haven’t heard this before, remember i said it first; if you have, remember I too said it anyways.. ;)

mattbrowne's avatar

The distance between the black hole at the center and galactic halo is enormous which means the force gets very weak. Something else must explain the nature of galactic halos.

Zaku's avatar

I don’t really get your basic question, krrazypassions. IIRC, for 50 years or more there have been thought to be large black holes at galactic centers. I don’t see that that would “explain” or be necessarily relevant to the black hole and black energy articles you’re listing, though I haven’t read all of them yet (and may likely not get to all of them).

Since I was at university some time ago, studying physics (and being somewhat unimpressed by some aspects of physics academia I experienced), I have had some theories about what seem to me like flaws in cosmological theories and time/space theory, and the arcticle krrazypassions recommended above falls into that category for me. I like that it explains the areas where current observations are not working well with current theories, but the direction of the thought there does not match what I would think is most likely to my sensibilities. Mainly I think we really don’t know, and are very presumptuous to act like we really know what is really going on way out there on a galactic scale or beyond, or what happened way way back in time, or will happen in future. I think that too much thinking is based on overconfident theorizing that we really can interpret accurately the meaning of phase-shifts of light at extreme distances. We just know that there is a pattern of red-shifting of galaxies at extreme distances. We don’t know what the mechanism or explanation is. What if it is a result of the distance? Any such effect of distance, or of passing through “dark matter” along the way, would throw all calculations about relative speed, acceleration, and of so-called “dark energy” right out the window, it seems to me. And I don’t see how we could test out that theory, given that we are sitting here on Earth looking out, rather than being able to move any significant distance to test that theory. So it’s interesting conjecture, but fairly BS as far as “knowing” much, it seems to me.

krrazypassions's avatar

@Zaku To paraphrase your last post, can we say that dark matter and dark energy could just be wrong hypotheses just like all-pervading ether was. (you know, it had a large support!)

Zaku's avatar

Yes, I would say dark energy could be a wrong hypothesis. I would say that there certainly is dark matter (though I think they need a new word, since they don’t just mean matter that is dark, which is what the words dark matter mean), but it may not explain all of what they are trying to make it explain. And I think there are some basic assumptions of modern physics, cosmology and astrophysics that may turn out to have been invalid, which have for a few decades been more or less regarded as truth.

krrazypassions's avatar

I wish to encourage flutherers to post here articles and papers they find that may be relevant to our galactic center, SMBHs and Dark Matter:-

This one here is about the discovery of November of 2010, when a team of astrophysicists discovered two giant, energy-filled bubbles extending from the galaxy’s center.
Doug Finkbeiner: Giant energy bubbles discovered in Milky Way galaxy

These giant bubble remind me of the usual artist’s image of black holes like one and two- The powerful jets associated with black holes originate from just outside a black hole’s event horizon. These jets align themselves with the black hole’s magnetic field, perpendicular to the accretion disk

mattbrowne's avatar

Sure. Even theories can turn out to be wrong. But the current dark matter hypothesis based on WIMPs is pretty strong. But we should keep our eyes open.

ETpro's avatar

@krrazypassions Interesting. I’m glad it’s just bubbles and not a full-blown Gamma Ray Burst. Anyone else struck by how similar the phenomena appear?

You can’t even lose information in a black hole, hey? Drat. There goes my master plan for hiding my evil plots by catapulting my hard drive into the center of the Galaxy.

krrazypassions's avatar

@ETpro
You can still hide data reliably using Quantum Cryptography and use black holes as a very very large (if not unlimited) storage space (if information retrieval from black holes is possible.. else valuable/invaluable data would be practically lost if we cant retrieve it easily)

ETpro's avatar

@krrazypassions Thanks so much for that. I will sleep so much more soundly tonight knowing my plans to assimilate Transylvania are intact.

krrazypassions's avatar

Discovery of baby black holes in very young galaxies at the dawn of the universe

Interesting points-
In a remarkable paper about the nature of space and the origin of time, Nikodem Poplawski, a physicist at Indiana University, suggests that a small change to the theory of gravity implies that our Universe inherited its arrow of time from the black hole in which it was born. “*Our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe,*” he concludes. Poplawski says that the idea that black holes are the cosmic mothers of new universes is a natural consequence of a simple new assumption about the nature of spacetime. Poplawski points out that the standard derivation of general relativity takes no account of the intrinsic momentum of spin half particles. However there is another version of the theory, called the Einstein-Cartan-Kibble-Sciama theory of gravity, which does.This theory predicts that particles with half integer spin should interact, generating a tiny repulsive force called torsion. In ordinary circumstances, torsion is too small to have any effect. But when densities become much higher than those in nuclear matter, it becomes significant. In particular, says Poplawski, torsion prevents the formation of singularities inside a black hole. Poplawski’s approach immediately solves the inflation problem, saying that torsion caused this rapid inflation, *which means the Universe as we see it today can be explained by a single theory of gravity without any additional assumptions about inflation. Another important corollary of Poplawski’s approach is that it makes it possible for universes to be born inside the event horizons of certain kinds of black holes where torsion prevents the formation of a singularity but allows energy density to build up, which leads to the creation of particles on a massive scale via pair production, followed by the expansion of the new universe. “Such an expansion is not visible for observers outside the black hole, for whom the horizon’s formation and all subsequent processes occur after infinite time,” says Poplawski. For this reason, he emphasizes, the new universe is a separate branch of space time and evolves accordingly.

krrazypassions's avatar

The paper referred to in the above post can be read completely here

ETpro's avatar

@krrazypassions I had just read that paper this evening. That Universe in a black hole leads into an infinite regression. There could be one in every SMBH in our Universe, and each of them would have billions of SMBS also containing universes. Sorry, that doesn’t sound right.

krrazypassions's avatar

@ETpro i dunno! Its the same as Nassim Haramein’s The Black Whole.

ETpro's avatar

@krrazypassions Like Alice said, “Curiouser and curiouser.”

There’s an interesting note today on the discovery of a “Monster” black hole driving a QUASAR only 770 million years after the Big Bang.

Qingu's avatar

Nassim Haramein is a fraud, @krrazypassions. And he appears to be running a cult. I hope you have not paid for any of his products.

krrazypassions's avatar

@Qingu I haven’t paid for anything- also I didn’t know about a cult. I found his ideas about crop circles being authentic as stupid. But I found some of his ideas interesting too- especially those related to the possible Fractal-nature of the Universe and Double Torus structure of fields around black holes(which he says are at center of every system- from universe to tiniest subatomic particle…)
But I am aware that there are many physics crackpots who present outrageous theories without having any credibility and education in the field. I am keeping my mind open for now, but also being careful. Lots to learn, lots to discover. We live in a very interesting world!

Qingu's avatar

Well, fractals are cool. The holographic principle is super cool. And there is a lot of work being done on both of these subjects by real scientists. This guy came up in another thread and my advice is to steer clear.

krrazypassions's avatar

@Qingu Thanks a lot for this sound advice! ;)

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