Modified gravity theories have never been able to describe the universe’s first light. A new formulation does.
A view of the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Theories of modified gravity have had a hard time describing the universe from relatively small scales like this all the way up to the scale of the universe as a whole.
For decades, a band of rebel theorists has waged war with one of cosmology’s core concepts — the idea that an invisible, intangible form of matter forms the universe’s primary structure. This dark matter, which seems to outweigh the stuff we’re made of 5-to-1, accounts for a host of observations: the tight cohesion of galaxies and packs of galaxies, the way light from faraway galaxies will bend on its way to terrestrial telescopes, and the mottled structure of the early universe, to name a few.