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How does the universe work? Where does it come from? And what is it made of?

In trying to find answers to these fundamental questions, cosmology came up with fascinating concepts, including inflation, dark energy and dark matter. While certainly seen as the best-understood idea of the three, even the nature of dark matter is still unknown. Dark matter has not been detected directly, and the indirect hints at it's existence are not unambiguous.

Nevertheless, (cold) dark matter is a central pillar of the 'standard model of cosmology', which is often said to be an excellent fit to the observed data. However, when you start looking at the model's predictions in detail, cracks and gaps become obvious. The predictions of the standard model are not fulfilled by the observations on small scales (cosmologically speaking, meaning dwarf galaxies, galaxies and groups of these). Numerous challenges, problems and outright failures are known today, most lacking satisfactory solutions. The dark matter paradigm is in a deep crisis.

This blog is devoted to pointing out the challenges faced by the dark-matter-based standard model of cosmology, their potential solutions and their implications. As active scientists in this field of research, we can present cutting-edge results, discuss recent publications and provide overviews of the discrepancies that appear when comparing the standard model predictions with observations. We do not leave it at that, but also highlight in detail the serious alternative approaches, based on scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals. All posts provide links to published works. We also raise sociological aspects of the currently on-going cosmological debate.

Pavel Kroupa & Marcel S. Pawlowski