Physicists Find No Evidence of Dark Matter Influence on the Force Between Nuclei

Ultraprecise Molecular Spectroscopy of HD+ Ions

HD+ molecular ions (yellow and red pairs of dots: proton and deuteron; the electron is not shown) suspended in an ultra-high vacuum between atomic ions (blue dots), which are immobilized using a laser beam (blue). An electromagnetic wave (red-brown discs) causes the molecular ions to rotate. A further laser beam (green) records evidence of this excitation. The drawing is not to scale. Credit: HHU / Alighanbari, Hansen, Schiller

The universe mainly consists of a novel substance and an energy form that are not yet understood. This ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ are not directly visible to the naked eye or through telescopes. Astronomers can only provide proof of their existence indirectly, based on the shape of galaxies and the dynamics of the universe. Dark matter interacts with normal matter via the gravitational force, which also determines the cosmic structures of normal, visible matter.

It is not yet known whether dark matter also interacts with itself or with normal matter via the other three fundamental forces — the electromagnetic force, the weak and the strong nuclear force — or some additional force. Even very sophisticated experiments have so far not been able to detect any such interaction. This means that if it does exist at all, it must be very weak.

In order to shed more light on this topic, scientists around the globe are carrying out various new experiments in which the action of the non-gravitational fundamental forces takes place with as little outside interference as possible, and the action is then precisely measured. Any deviations from the expected effects may indicate the influence of dark matter or dark energy. Some of these experiments are being carried out using huge research machines such as those housed at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva. But laboratory-scale experiments, for example in Düsseldorf, are also feasible, if designed for maximum precision.

The team working under the guidance of Prof. Stephan Schiller from the Institute of Experimental Physics at HHU has presented the findings of a precision experiment to measure the electrical force between the proton (“p”) and the deuteron (“d”) in the journal Nature. The proton is the nucleus of the hydrogen atom (H), the heavier deuteron is the nucleus of deuterium (D), and consists of a proton and a neutron bound together.

The Düsseldorf physicists study an unusual object, HD+, the ion of the partially deuterated hydrogen molecule. One of the two electrons normally contained in the electron shell is missing in this ion. Thus, HD+ consists of a proton and deuteron bound together by just one electron, which compensates for the repulsive electrical force between them.

This results in a particular distance between the proton and the deuteron, referred to as the ‘bond length’. In order to determine this distance, the HHU physicists have measured the rotation rate of the molecule with eleven digits precision using a spectroscopy technique they recently developed. The researchers used concepts that are also relevant in the field of quantum technology, such as particle traps and laser cooling.

It is extremely complicated to derive the bond length from the spectroscopy results, and thus to deduct the strength of the force exerted between the proton and the deuteron. This is because this force has quantum properties. The theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) proposed in the 1940s must be used here. A member of the author team spent two decades to advance the complex calculations and was recently able to predict the bond length with sufficient precision.

This prediction corresponds to the measurement result. From the agreement one can deduce the maximum strength of a modification of the force between a proton and a deuteron caused by dark matter. Prof. Schiller comments: “My team has now pushed down this upper limit more than 20-fold. We have demonstrated that dark matter interacts much less with normal matter than was previously considered possible. This mysterious form of matter continues to remain undercover, at least in the lab!”

Reference: “Precise test of quantum electrodynamics and determination of fundamental constants with HD+ ions” by S. Alighanbari, G. S. Giri, F. L. Constantin, V. I. Korobov and S. Schiller, 6 May 2020, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2261-5

6 Comments on "Physicists Find No Evidence of Dark Matter Influence on the Force Between Nuclei"

  1. Howard Jeffrey Bender | June 8, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Reply

    If all this speculation about Dark Matter is driving you nuts, there may be a nice direct explanation from concepts in String Theory.

    As you may know, quantum mechanics requires that strings must be formed as pairs in the quantum foam – a string and an anti-string – that immediately annihilate each other. Quantum mechanics also requires both the string and anti-string to be surrounded by “jitters” that reduce their monstrous vibrating energies. What if this jitter remains for a fraction of an instant after their string/anti-string annihilations? This temporary jitter would be seen by us as matter for that instant before it too returns to the foam. That’s why we never see it – the “mass” lasts only for that instant but is repeated over and over and over, all over. Specifics on this can be found in my YouTube at

  2. Imo, all 4 forces are actually just the interactions of 1 force and 1 counter-force. The force caused by energy, which takes up “space”, and the counter-force caused by what is currently known as “dark matter” which fills the vaccuum

  3. That’s because it doesn’t exist. Fabricated to avoid rewriting the fundamentals of physics.

  4. Sorry. Pensive but unneducated. Never studied physics. Here is a theory. We think of einsteins spacetime fabric but in 2 dimensional way. A sheet, stretched with a bowling ball representing a star in center. Fabric is bent inward and a Smaller tennisball traveling linearly is trapped by the fabric and pulled inward toward the bowlingball. So here is a theory: 3dimensionally instead of 2 dimensionally with a galaxy in center… The gravity pulls equally every angle every direction. Massive objects such as stars equally pull on the black hole in the center and thus weaken the gravitational effect of the supermassive center. The issue is that the black hole equally pulls above it (north)as well as below it (south)but is unmet with the diluting force of stars to reduce its gravitational force. The result is “potential gravity” and it is exponentially greater than the spiral circling the center. Consider this to be “full gravitional force” whereAS most theorists would consider gravity relatively weak… Above and below the plane it is exponential not to mention equally strong on both poles. This creates a “gravitational tide” that further strengthens both north as well as South similar to the moon creating a high tide both on the side of earth that is facing it but also a high tide on the opposite side of the planet.that exponential gravitational tide on both sides condenses the massive stars into equilibrium and creates a plane of equilibrium and thus the spiral formation. The “space fabric” both above and below the plane is exponentialy stronger due to lack of matter to counteract its pull and the result is a dark matter like effect of pulling the stars within the galaxy toward it (center-up)but the opposite pole equally pulls back creating a (center-down) effect and keeps the massive stars within the plane. So gravity isnt observed (as there is a vaccuum on both north and south) and is not measurable because there is no object in that void to measure it to. It can however be measured in terms of its gravitaional effect on the plane of equilibrium toward center creating the illusion of gravity without substance (aka dark matter) even though it seems like there is not enough gravity to keep the stars from flying apart. So my theory explains in laymans uneducated terms why the galxies form in spiral patterns and why we cant see the dark matter… Because there is none. It is simply gravity unchecked by other massive objects. Essentially i am saying that gravity is incredibly strong… Stronger than what we previously thought but the gravity of two objects on each other not to mention millions of objects on each other within a galaxy dilutes it, making gravity seem weak because we are measuring it within the plane of equilibrium. What do you think? Ridiculous or plausible? Once again…potential gravity:the gravitational pull exists in the empty spacetime fabric both on the northern as well as southern poles of the spiral but there are no objects outside the plane of equilibrium to reduce its’ pull or to be able to observe its effects. That excess superpowerful unmet potential gravity keeps the galaxy together because although it could be thought of as potential rather than active, it is always active. My theory would suggest that if voyager travelled “upward” to escape our solar system rather than on the existing plane where all planets rotate around the sun, the suns gravity would prohibit it from going too far because of its exponential force of unmet, undiluted gravity.

  5. Theory of dark matter Part 2. Einstein: As a massive object approaches the speed of light, it becomes infinitely massive. But do micro- massive particles create the same gravitational effect as larger planetary objects? No. they create infinite mass that is small in strength related to its nearest neighbor but relative to objects farther away, it is just as strong as a larger observable star. So… Dust being pulled into a supermassive black hole increases in velocity close to the speed of light and creates a multiplying/ amplifying effect of gravity on the spiral. The result is “invisible” dust with infinite mass creating the illusion of gravity without substance… Aka: dark matter. The stars should fly away because what is observable is not enough to keep it together. Hypervelocity dust creates the gravity that is needed to bind the galaxy together. Sorry… Once again… I am unneducated… Never studied physics. Just like watching science shows and thinking about what the speed of light and its relation to micro massive objects might mean on the gravity required to hold us together.

  6. ‘Dark’matter and enrgy.
    Fake. Totally fake.

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