From University of Chicago (US) and From UC Riverside (US) : “Could dark matter be behind mysterious supermassive black holes in the early universe?”

U Chicago bloc

From University of Chicago (US)

and

UC Riverside bloc

From UC Riverside (US)

Jun 25, 2021
Louise Lerner

Scientists at UChicago and University of California-Riverside (US) have put forward a surprising theory to explain mysterious, supermassive black holes that formed early in the universe; those black holes could have formed with the help of dark matter.

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Illustration by European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) + ATG Media Lab (EU).

UChicago, UC Riverside scientists offer theory to explain the origin of monsters of the cosmos.

When astronomers use telescopes to look back in time—toward objects in the universe whose light is only now reaching earth after billions of years—they see something odd. Black holes, big ones, that already existed when the universe was still very young.

This is strange because from what physicists have understood, it takes time for a black hole to eat enough surrounding matter to grow so massive—so it seemed those black holes should not have had time to get so big.

“The analogy I’ve used is that if you saw a child that was only five or six years old, but already weighed as much as an adult human,” said Hai-Bo Yu, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at University of California-Riverside.

Yu and two other scientists with UC-Riverside and the University of Chicago came up with a surprising possible explanation [The Astrophysical Journal Letters]: Those black holes could have formed with the help of Dark Matter.

“This ties together two great mysteries in astrophysics—early supermassive black holes and dark matter—very neatly,” said UChicago postdoctoral researcher and study co-author Yi-Ming Zhong.

In the early days of the universe, visible matter existed as clouds of gas particles that would grow into denser objects, such as stars and galaxies. These clouds could collapse and form a seed black hole, i.e., the baby stage of a supermassive black hole. However, in this scenario, the scientists said, the seed would not have enough time to grow into the most massive black holes observed in the early universe, if it eats at a “normal” pace.

But alongside the ordinary matter in these clouds was a halo of dark matter, a mysterious form of matter that we can tell is there because of its gravity pulls on visible things in the universe. The scientists wondered if dark matter could serve as an ingredient that helps create supermassive black holes.

According to their simulations, if particles of dark matter in those halos were colliding with each other, such activity could tip the balance of the system towards collapse. That’s because the particles could spread heat to one another as they collided, making the central halo unstable. They also found the dark matter collisions would dissipate the halo’s angular momentum—the quantity that describes the spinning of a body—which further tips the system towards collapse.

Such a collapse usually takes a long time. However, the presence of ordinary matter at the halo center adds extra mass that deepens the gravitational potential there, thus expediting the heat spread. “The presence of ordinary matter could shorten the collapse timescale by two orders of magnitude,” said graduate student and co-author Wei-Xiang Feng.

These “seed” black holes would have been much more massive than those typically formed by the collapse of ordinary gas—akin to the baby in the analogy being born already weighing 100 pounds. From there, it could grow through the “normal” process of eating nearby matter.

The scientists are investigating further implications of this theory, such as the origin of supermassive black holes in our own Milky Way and many other large nearby galaxies.

It could also be an indication about the nature of dark matter itself; it’s difficult to directly observe whether or not dark matter particles can collide among themselves, but if this theory pans out, it could serve as evidence that they can.

A way to test this theory might become possible as the next generation of more powerful telescopes begin taking data. For example, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be probing the growth of black holes in the universe.

“This system has very novel and interesting dynamics, so we’re exploring further,” said Zhong. “Plus, it’s intriguing that we can address two mysteries with one theory.”

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Dark Matter Background
Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.


Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.


In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.
Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.
Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).


Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).


Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970

Dark Matter Research

Inside the ADMX experiment hall at the University of Washington Credit Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment


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UC Riverside Campus

The University of California-Riverside (US) is a public land-grant research university in Riverside, California. It is one of the 10 campuses of the University of California (US) system. The main campus sits on 1,900 acres (769 ha) in a suburban district of Riverside with a branch campus of 20 acres (8 ha) in Palm Desert. In 1907, the predecessor to UC-Riverside was founded as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside which pioneered research in biological pest control and the use of growth regulators responsible for extending the citrus growing season in California from four to nine months. Some of the world’s most important research collections on citrus diversity and entomology, as well as science fiction and photography, are located at Riverside.

UC-Riverside’s undergraduate College of Letters and Science opened in 1954. The Regents of the University of California declared UC-Riverside a general campus of the system in 1959, and graduate students were admitted in 1961. To accommodate an enrollment of 21,000 students by 2015, more than $730 million has been invested in new construction projects since 1999. Preliminary accreditation of the UC-Riverside School of Medicine was granted in October 2012 and the first class of 50 students was enrolled in August 2013. It is the first new research-based public medical school in 40 years.

UC-Riverside is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.” The 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings places UC-Riverside tied for 35th among top public universities and ranks 85th nationwide. Over 27 of UC- Riverside’s academic programs, including the Graduate School of Education and the Bourns College of Engineering, are highly ranked nationally based on peer assessment, student selectivity, financial resources, and other factors. Washington Monthly ranked UC Riverside 2nd in the United States in terms of social mobility, research and community service, while U.S. News ranks UC-Riverside as the fifth most ethnically diverse and, by the number of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants (42 percent), the 15th most economically diverse student body in the nation. Over 70% of all UC-Riverside students graduate within six years without regard to economic disparity. UC-Riverside’s extensive outreach and retention programs have contributed to its reputation as a “university of choice” for minority students. In 2005, UCR became the first public university campus in the nation to offer a gender-neutral housing option. UC-Riverside’s sports teams are known as the Highlanders and play in the Big West Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Their nickname was inspired by the high altitude of the campus, which lies on the foothills of Box Springs Mountain. The UC-Riverside women’s basketball team won back-to-back Big West championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, the men’s baseball team won its first conference championship and advanced to the regionals for the second time since the university moved to Division I in 2001.

History

At the turn of the 20th century, Southern California was a major producer of citrus, the region’s primary agricultural export. The industry developed from the country’s first navel orange trees, planted in Riverside in 1873. Lobbied by the citrus industry, the UC Regents established the UC Citrus Experiment Station (CES) on February 14, 1907, on 23 acres (9 ha) of land on the east slope of Mount Rubidoux in Riverside. The station conducted experiments in fertilization, irrigation and crop improvement. In 1917, the station was moved to a larger site, 475 acres (192 ha) near Box Springs Mountain.

The 1944 passage of the GI Bill during World War II set in motion a rise in college enrollments that necessitated an expansion of the state university system in California. A local group of citrus growers and civic leaders, including many University of California-Berkeley(US) alumni, lobbied aggressively for a UC-administered liberal arts college next to the CES. State Senator Nelson S. Dilworth authored Senate Bill 512 (1949) which former Assemblyman Philip L. Boyd and Assemblyman John Babbage (both of Riverside) were instrumental in shepherding through the State Legislature. Governor Earl Warren signed the bill in 1949, allocating $2 million for initial campus construction.

Gordon S. Watkins, dean of the College of Letters and Science at University of California-Los Angeles, became the first provost of the new college at Riverside. Initially conceived of as a small college devoted to the liberal arts, he ordered the campus built for a maximum of 1,500 students and recruited many young junior faculty to fill teaching positions. He presided at its opening with 65 faculty and 127 students on February 14, 1954, remarking, “Never have so few been taught by so many.”

UC-Riverside’s enrollment exceeded 1,000 students by the time Clark Kerr became president of the University of California system in 1958. Anticipating a “tidal wave” in enrollment growth required by the baby boom generation, Kerr developed the California Master Plan for Higher Education and the Regents designated Riverside a general university campus in 1959. UC-Riverside’s first chancellor, Herman Theodore Spieth, oversaw the beginnings of the school’s transition to a full university and its expansion to a capacity of 5,000 students. UC-Riverside’s second chancellor, Ivan Hinderaker led the campus through the era of the free speech movement and kept student protests peaceful in Riverside. According to a 1998 interview with Hinderaker, the city of Riverside received negative press coverage for smog after the mayor asked Governor Ronald Reagan to declare the South Coast Air Basin a disaster area in 1971; subsequent student enrollment declined by up to 25% through 1979. Hinderaker’s development of innovative programs in business administration and biomedical sciences created incentive for enough students to enroll at UC-Riverside to keep the campus open.

In the 1990s, the UC-Riverside experienced a new surge of enrollment applications, now known as “Tidal Wave II”. The Regents targeted UC-Riverside for an annual growth rate of 6.3%, the fastest in the UC system, and anticipated 19,900 students at UC-Riverside by 2010. By 1995, African American, American Indian, and Latino student enrollments accounted for 30% of the UC-Riverside student body, the highest proportion of any UC campus at the time. The 1997 implementation of Proposition 209—which banned the use of affirmative action by state agencies—reduced the ethnic diversity at the more selective UC campuses but further increased it at UC-Riverside.

With UC-Riverside scheduled for dramatic population growth, efforts have been made to increase its popular and academic recognition. The students voted for a fee increase to move UC-Riverside athletics into NCAA Division I standing in 1998. In the 1990s, proposals were made to establish a law school, a medical school, and a school of public policy at UC-Riverside, with the UC-Riverside School of Medicine and the School of Public Policy becoming reality in 2012. In June 2006, UC-Riverside received its largest gift, 15.5 million from two local couples, in trust towards building its medical school. The Regents formally approved UC-Riverside’s medical school proposal in 2006. Upon its completion in 2013, it was the first new medical school built in California in 40 years.

Academics

As a campus of the University of California(US) system, UC-Riverside is governed by a Board of Regents and administered by a president. UC-Riverside’s academic policies are set by its Academic Senate, a legislative body composed of all UC-Riverside faculty members.

UC-Riverside is organized into three academic colleges, two professional schools, and two graduate schools. UC-Riverside’s liberal arts college, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, was founded in 1954, and began accepting graduate students in 1960. The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, founded in 1960, incorporated the CES as part of the first research-oriented institution at UC-Riverside; it eventually also incorporated the natural science departments formerly associated with the liberal arts college to form its present structure in 1974. UC-Riverside’s newest academic unit, the Bourns College of Engineering, was founded in 1989. Comprising the professional schools are the Graduate School of Education, founded in 1968, and the UC-Riverside School of Business, founded in 1970. These units collectively provide 81 majors and 52 minors, 48 master’s degree programs, and 42 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. UC-Riverside is the only UC campus to offer undergraduate degrees in creative writing and public policy and one of three UCs (along with University of California-Berkeley (US) and University of California-Irvine (US)) to offer an undergraduate degree in business administration. Through its Division of Biomedical Sciences, founded in 1974, UC-Riverside offers the Thomas Haider medical degree program in collaboration with University of California-Los Angeles(US). UC-Riverside’s doctoral program in the emerging field of dance theory, founded in 1992, was the first program of its kind in the United States, and UC-Riverside’s minor in lesbian, gay and bisexual studies, established in 1996, was the first undergraduate program of its kind in the University of California system. A new BA program in bagpipes was inaugurated in 2007.

Research and economic impact

UC-Riverside operated under a $727 million budget in fiscal year 2014–15. The state government provided $214 million, student fees accounted for $224 million and $100 million came from contracts and grants. Private support and other sources accounted for the remaining $189 million. Overall, monies spent at UC-Riverside have an economic impact of nearly $1 billion in California. UC-Riverside research expenditure in FY 2018 totaled $167.8 million. Total research expenditures at UC-Riverside are significantly concentrated in agricultural science, accounting for 53% of total research expenditures spent by the university in 2002. Top research centers by expenditure, as measured in 2002, include the Agricultural Experiment Station; the Center for Environmental Research and Technology; the Center for Bibliographical Studies; the Air Pollution Research Center; and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

Throughout UC-Riverside’s history, researchers have developed more than 40 new citrus varieties and invented new techniques to help the $960 million-a-year California citrus industry fight pests and diseases. In 1927, entomologists at the CES introduced two wasps from Australia as natural enemies of a major citrus pest, the citrophilus mealybug, saving growers in Orange County $1 million in annual losses. This event was pivotal in establishing biological control as a practical means of reducing pest populations. In 1963, plant physiologist Charles Coggins proved that application of gibberellic acid allows fruit to remain on citrus trees for extended periods. The ultimate result of his work, which continued through the 1980s, was the extension of the citrus-growing season in California from four to nine months. In 1980, UC-Riverside released the Oroblanco grapefruit, its first patented citrus variety. Since then, the citrus breeding program has released other varieties such as the Melogold grapefruit, the Gold Nugget mandarin (or tangerine), and others that have yet to be given trademark names.

To assist entrepreneurs in developing new products, UC-Riverside is a primary partner in the Riverside Regional Technology Park, which includes the City of Riverside and the County of Riverside. It also administers six reserves of the University of California Natural Reserve System. UC-Riverside recently announced a partnership with China Agricultural University[中国农业大学](CN) to launch a new center in Beijing, which will study ways to respond to the country’s growing environmental issues. UC-Riverside can also boast the birthplace of two name reactions in organic chemistry, the Castro-Stephens coupling and the Midland Alpine Borane Reduction.

U Chicago Campus

An intellectual destination

One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago (US) has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

The University of Chicago (US) is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US), DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts. The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including 6,286 undergraduates and 10,159 graduate students. The University of Chicago is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications, and it is among the most selective in the United States.

The university is composed of one undergraduate college and five graduate research divisions, which contain all of the university’s graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees. Chicago has eight professional schools: the Law School, the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Divinity School, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. The university has additional campuses and centers in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as in downtown Chicago.

University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of many academic disciplines, including economics, law, literary criticism, mathematics, religion, sociology, and the behavioralism school of political science, establishing the Chicago schools in various fields. Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory produced the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction in Chicago Pile-1 beneath the viewing stands of the university’s Stagg Field. Advances in chemistry led to the “radiocarbon revolution” in the carbon-14 dating of ancient life and objects. The university research efforts include administration of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) and DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory(US), as well as the U Chicago Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (MBL)(US). The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States. The Barack Obama Presidential Center is expected to be housed at the university and will include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.

The University of Chicago’s students, faculty, and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates as of 2020, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university in the world. The university’s faculty members and alumni also include 10 Fields Medalists, 4 Turing Award winners, 52 MacArthur Fellows, 26 Marshall Scholars, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 20 National Humanities Medalists, 29 living billionaire graduates, and have won eight Olympic medals.

UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics; establishing revolutionary theories of economics; and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations.

The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

Research

According to the National Science Foundation (US), University of Chicago spent $423.9 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 60th in the nation. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” and is a founding member of the Association of American Universities (US) and was a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation from 1946 through June 29, 2016, when the group’s name was changed to the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The University of Chicago is not a member of the rebranded consortium, but will continue to be a collaborator.

The university operates more than 140 research centers and institutes on campus. Among these are the Oriental Institute—a museum and research center for Near Eastern studies owned and operated by the university—and a number of National Resource Centers, including the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Chicago also operates or is affiliated with several research institutions apart from the university proper. The university manages Argonne National Laboratory, part of the United States Department of Energy’s national laboratory system, and co-manages Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), a nearby particle physics laboratory, as well as a stake in the Apache Point Observatory (US) in Sunspot, New Mexico. Faculty and students at the adjacent Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago collaborate with the university. In 2013, the university formed an affiliation with the formerly independent Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Although formally unrelated, the National Opinion Research Center (US) is located on Chicago’s campus.