Emergent gravity is a new, alternative theory of gravity. It is the first time proposed by a researcher from the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics in Amsterdam, Eric Verlinde under the name of entropic gravity. According to this new theory, gravity might behave and arise very differently than Einstein predicted. Emergent gravity predicts the exact same deviation of motions that is usually explained by invoking dark matter. It is accepted in the physicist community as a pretty controversial hypothesis. However, these days new observations claim that this theory isn’t that wrong.

Graphic explaining emergent theory of gravity
Graphic explaining emergent theory of gravity

The Dark Matter Problem

When the scientist found the fact that there’s more gravity in our Universe, than can be produced by all the matter and gas that we see, then the idea of dark matter arise. And problems with it. The dark matter doesn’t appear to emit any form of light or radiation that we can observe. It is estimated to make up around 27 percent of all the mass in the observable Universe. Our widely accepted theory of gravity just didn’t fit enough and when it comes to quantum mechanics it constantly failing. On the other side, Verlinde claims there is no need to add a mysterious dark matter particle to the theory. He shows how his theory of gravity accurately predicts the velocities by which the stars rotate around the center of the Milky Way, as well as the motion of stars inside other galaxies. Verlinde suggested that gravity isn’t a fundamental force of nature, just an emergent phenomenon.

First Test Passed

The team of researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands has tested emergent theory and gained the first evidence that supports the theory. Margot Brouwer observed the distribution of matter in around 33,000 galaxies by using the Verlinde’s prepositions. Brouwer studying the gravitational lens – distribution of matter between a distant light source and an observer, that is capable of bending the light from the source as the light travels towards the observer. This is widely used technique of measuring the amount of dark matter. Their results show that Verlinde’s predictions matched their observations without needing to use any free parameters ( which are needed for dark matter ). However, this is every early evidence. Although this theory might exclude dark matter, it still doesn’t fit the whole Universe.

Other scientists claimed that emergent gravity is only applicable to isolated, spherical, and static systems. And also there are ones that categorically disproves this theory. Further research will certainly indicate whether the idea of an entropic gravity is just bold hypnotizes or might become something more.