The electromagnetic background - Limitations on models of unseen matter Academic Article uri icon


  • The existence of bound systems implies the release of energy associated with their formation. Estimating the fraction of this energy which appears in observable diffuse places restrictions on various theories involving high binding energy densities of seen or unseen matter. For example, any theory involving discrete sources to explain a particular background must also consider the binding energy released in the formation of the hypothesized sources. The potency of pulsars and white dwarfs as cosmic-ray sources is severely limited by these considerations. It is also found: The amount of unseen matter in the form of burned-out stars or neutron stars must be well below that needed to bind the Universe. Black holes, if not primordial, are restricted to an extremely narrow range of parameters if they are supposed to bind the Universe, and are thus unlikely candidates. All these generalizations can be violated, but only if the amount of energy in the infrared background exceeds that in the rest of the observed electromagnetic backgrounds by more than an order of magnitude. (AIP)

publication date

  • January 1, 1976