CORDIS - EU research results

Upgrading the Fuzzy Dark Matter Model

Project description

Study extends the theory of superfluid dark matter

According to a new theory, dark matter behaves as a fluid that lacks viscosity and therefore flows without any loss of kinetic energy. When stirred, a superfluid forms vortices that continue to rotate indefinitely. This new hypothesis differs from the standard cosmological model in which dark matter is a cold, thinly distributed medium composed of particles that hardly interact with each other. The EU-funded upgradeFDM project will extend this model of dark matter manifesting superfluid behaviour to include non-gravitational self-interactions. Using numerical simulations, the project aims to demonstrate the far-reaching implications of these self-interactions for the formation of gravitationally bound cosmological structures.


The project will illuminate implications for cosmic structure formation of the hypothesis that dark matter consists of ultra-light scalar particles, generically labeled as Axion-like particles (ALPs). Described as a continuous field, dark matter in this picture can be described as a self-gravitating superfluid on cosmological scales with distinct phenomenology from standard Cold Dark Matter (CDM) due to its coherent nature. The research will extend this new model of Dark Matter to include non-gravitational self-interactions and the effects of a non-condensed corpuscular component and examine their effects on the formation of gravitationally bound cosmological structures as well as the creation of quantum vorticity through numerical simulations. The project will, therefore, merge concepts from Cosmology and Cold Atom Physics to explore a most topical question in modern science.

The experienced researcher, Dr I-Kang Liu will move from Taiwan to the UK to join the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics at the University of Newcastle as a member of a team of cosmologists with strong links to a team of cold atom physicists. A cold atom physicist by training, with an extended network of European and international collaborators in his research field, he will extend his knowledge to a new field, cosmological structure formation, while bringing in his considerable numerical skills to the existing groups to perform the demanding simulations required to fully understand the process of structure formation in this cosmological model.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
United Kingdom

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North East (England) Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Tyneside
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76