What if standard cosmology is incomplete? Although the Big Bang Theory is the standard model for our universe and accounts for most of the physical phenomena observed by scientists, a new theory from physicists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory suggests that the Big Bang's inflation period might have been shorter, which would explain current estimates of the amount of dark matter in our cosmos.

"In general, a fundamental theory of nature can explain certain phenomena, but it may not always end up giving you the right amount of dark matter," Hooman Davoudiasl, co-author of the paper, said in a press release. "If you come up with too little dark matter, you can suggest another source, but having too much is a problem."

Current estimates of the amount of dark matter in the universe suggest that it is the dominant substance and and modern theories regarding unexplainable events in physics are still not accepted due to their inability to explain the current levels of dark matter in our universe.

The new theory proposes that on top of the initial expansion of the universe that occurred approximately 10 to 35 seconds after the beginning of time followed by a cooling period where the lighter elements formed, there were likely interludes of additional periods of inflation. Although these inflations were not as big as the initial one, they would explain the amount of dark matter we see today.

"It's definitely not the standard cosmology, but you have to accept that the universe may not be governed by things in the standard way that we thought," Davoudiasl said. "But we didn't need to construct something complicated. We show how a simple model can achieve this short amount of inflation in the early universe and account for the amount of dark matter we believe is out there."

The findings will be published in the Jan. 18 issue of Physical Review Letters.