Erik Verlinde’s Gravity Minus Dark Matter
For 80 years, scientists have puzzled over the way galaxies and other cosmic structures appear to gravitate toward something they cannot see. This hypothetical “dark matter” seems to outweigh all visible matter by a startling ratio of five to one, suggesting that we barely know our own universe. Thousands of physicists are doggedly searching for these invisible particles. Yet Erik Verlinde, Member (1988–93) in the School of Natural Sciences, has proposed a theory of gravity that does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles. In a dense 51-page paper posted online on Nov. 7, Verlinde casts gravity as a byproduct of quantum interactions and suggests that the extra gravity attributed to dark matter is an effect of “dark energy” — the background energy woven into the space-time fabric of the universe.
Read more at Quanta Magazine.