So, we know that it exists and makes up about 1/4 of the Universe. Without it, galaxies will fall apart, and the stars will fly away. Dark matter is several times denser than ordinary matter. But scientists cannot see it or even understand what it is.
1. Back in the 1930s, astronomers realized that if you add up all the visible matter of galaxy clusters, then its total gravity will not be enough to hold them together. So there is something else, and there is a lot of it, the scientists concluded. Initially, the term "hidden mass" was used to denote the unknown component, but now it is more often said "dark matter".
2. The Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator, has doubled its power since this summer to reveal the existence of black matter. Scientists from all over the world are awaiting new research results.
3. The collider is not the only way to learn about dark matter. Numerous other experiments are being conducted to study its side effects. Some of them try to investigate dark matter by analyzing the behavior of ordinary particles. Others are aimed at exploring the dark matter of space.
4. You can understand the properties of dark matter by observing how gravity bends the light passing through it, like a cosmic prism. A team of scientists from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan is doing just that. The result of their work will be the world's first "dark matter map", which they plan to complete by 2019. It will show you how dark matter is distributed, which may provide clues to understanding its mass and density.
5. Even if scientists manage to identify dark matter, they will still be far from answering the question of how the universe works. The fact is that the total mass of dark and normal matter is only 74% of the Universe. Let's say "hello" to dark energy - such a strange and mysterious force that scientists will have to rack their brains for a long time after dark matter is discovered.