Rotation of galaxies is examined by the general principle of least action. This law of nature describes a system in its surroundings, here specifically a galaxy in the surrounding Universe. According to this holistic theory the gravitational potential due to all matter in the expanding Universe relates to the universal curvature which, in turn, manifests itself as the universal acceleration. Then the orbital velocities from the central bulge to distant perimeters are understood to balance both the galactic and universal acceleration. Since the galactic acceleration decreases with distance from the galaxy’s center to its luminous edge, the orbital velocities of ever more distant stars and gas clouds tend toward a value that tallies the universal acceleration. This tiny term has been acknowledged earlier by including it as a parameter in the modified gravitational law, but here the tiny acceleration is understood to result from the gravitational potential that spans across the expanding Universe. This resolution of the galaxy rotation problem is compared with observations and contrasted with models of dark matter. Also, other astronomical observations that have been interpreted as evidence for dark matter are discussed in light of the least-action principle.
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