Dark matter was discovered in the 1950s after astronomers found that our galaxy rotated as if it had more matter than its visible stars, five times more in fact. They concluded that most of the galaxy was “dark matter”, dark because it can’t be seen and matter because it caused gravity. Studying the rotation curves of other galaxies extended this conclusion to them and dark matter is now thought to be about 85% of the matter of the universe and quarter of its total energy. From its effects, scientists infer that dark matter exists as a halo around the supermassive black holes at the center of almost every galaxy, including ours.
Dark matter allows a galaxy to hold its stars together more tightly than their gravity allows. It isn’t the matter we see because no light can detect it, it isn’t anti-matter because it has no gamma ray signature and it isn’t a black hole because there is no gravitational lensing, but without it the stars of our galaxy would fly apart. Dark matter is the “glue” that binds galaxies together but no one knows what it is. Without it, the matter-producing factories we call stars would not have the stability needed to create the elements of the periodic table.
The existence of dark matter, deduced from its effects, created a problem for the standard model which sees all matter as particles. It had to propose weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, initiating another costly wild-goose chase despite talk of super-WIMPs (Feng, Rajaraman, & Takayama, 2003). WIMPs have now joined gravitons, proton decay and squarks as fruitless predictions of the standard model. That no particle exists to explain 85% of our galaxy’s mass is a significant standard model failure.
In a processing model, mass arises when net processing sustains over time. Any particle mass would have been seen by now so how else could net processing be sustained in a halo? One option is light trapped in “orbit” around the black hole at the center of most galaxies. This halo is possible, for if light is too close to a black hole it is pulled in and if light is too far away it escapes, but at a certain radius light will repeatedly circle in a very large loop (Figure 4.26).
Some light then rotates in vast but finite loop from which it can’t escape. Over time this would build-up to a stream of circling light as more photons are added than leave. This stream would not be visible as light cannot be seen from the side.
Recall that in the pass-it-on protocol, nodes are interrupt driven so each cycle they first pass on current processing then receive any input to process, so if any node gets more processing than it can handle, it immediately passes it on. This allows the possibility of an infinite pass-it-on repeat but as argued earlier, any such repeat would be sooner or later absorbed by a node of new space. However, if the halo of rotating light around a black hole is massive enough, new space may not add fast enough to do this. The result would be a permanent net processing excess, which in this model is matter.
A dense enough stream of light constantly circling around a black hole will generate overloads. If they build up to be more than new space can absorb, they will pass-on permanent interrupts of excess processing. It follows that dark matter is created by light like ordinary matter, but it isn’t a “particle” confined to a node but rather spread out through a vast stream of light. Light trapped in an orbit around a black hole gives rise to dark matter just as light trapped in a node gives rise to particle matter.
Ordinary and dark matter are both net processing that repeats but while ordinary matter is a stand-alone repeat, dark matter is a repeat that builds up due to a massive black hole. It isn’t seen because photons don’t collide with it but either pass through at right angles or join the stream. Matter generated in this way doesn’t collide with itself because it doesn’t have a particle structure. Particles as excess processing confined to a node collide with each other but dark matter as processing interrupts passed on in a loop halo don’t collide. Hence when galaxies collide, the dark matter stays with the black hole that creates it when they separate, rather than colliding. This model allows small galaxies to exist with no black holes and even galaxies that have lost their stars to consist of 99.99% dark matter. Dark matter confirms that mass can arise in a way other than as a “particle”.