No more salient issue exists in contemporary astrophysics and cosmology than that of the elusive "dark matter". For many years already Milgrom's paradigm of modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) has provided an alternative way to interpret observations without appeal to invisible dark matter. MOND had been successful in elucidating economically the dynamics of disk galaxies of all scales, while doing less well for clusters of galaxies; in its original form it could not address gravitational lensing or cosmology. After reviewing some of the evidence in favor of MOND, I recollect the development of relativistic formulations for it to cope with the last deficiency. I comment on recent work by various groups in confronting TeVeS, a relativistic embodiment of MOND, with observational data on gravitational lensing and cosmology. Throughout I ask what sort of physics can be responsible for the efficacy of MOND, and conclude with an appraisal of what theoretical developments are still needed to reach a full description of the world involving no unobserved matter.
- Pub Date:
- November 2006
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- Pedagogical introduction to MOND and review of modern developments. To appear shortly in Contemporary Physics