Strings of Stars

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Science  14 Sep 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5844, pp. 1465c
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5844.1465c

Gravity caused the first stars that formed in the early universe to collapse in overly dense regions. These regions were seeded by clumps of dark matter, particles that neither glow nor interact with light except gravitationally. Most modeling of the first stars has used “cold” dark matter, but it is possible that the dark matter was “warm” if it was made of more energetic fundamental particles. In computer simulations that include warm dark matter, Gao and Theuns (p. 1527, see the cover and the Perspective by Bromm) show that the faster motions of the warm dark matter erased very small density structures, and quite stable elongated gas clouds formed instead that fragmented to produce strings of stars. Thus, the pattern of the first stars may tell us about the dark matter content of the universe.

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