Space is a mysterious place and many people around the world are working to discover it layer by layer. Yet quite a few puzzling events up there remain unexplained. Scientists now believe that there may be invisible walls in space. However, these walls are not like the walls of a room. Instead, they are more barriers. Scientists think these walls may have been created by a “fifth force” mediated by a hypothetical new particle called a symmetron. And the existence of this force could help understand an intriguing part of space that has long frustrated astronomers.
Currently, we use the Lambda model for cold dark matter as the standard model to understand our universe. This model argues that small galaxies should be distributed in messy orbits around larger galaxies. In reality, many small galaxies orbiting larger galaxies are arranged in thin flat planes (discs), resembling Saturn’s rings. This arrangement seems as if there are invisible walls in the room that cause them to go against the Lambda model.
In other words, these small ‘satellite’ galaxies are captured by the gravitational pull of larger galaxies and are arranged in thin flat planes, while the model suggests they should be distributed in messy orbits around their host galaxies. These small galaxies have been observed in synchronized orbits in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, as well as in neighboring galaxies. Scientists have proposed several explanations for this “satellite disk problem.”
However, the new study from researchers at the University of Nottingham has presented a new explanation. It is available through the pre-print server arXiv. They call it “the first potential “new physics” explanation. It suggests that symmetrons could generate invisible walls in space.
Still, the study is just a proof of concept. To prove that there are invisible walls in space, scientists will first need to prove that symmetrons exist. This requires the service of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which should be ready for scientific observation by the summer of this year.