To explain rotation curves of spiral galaxies through Newtonian orbital models, massive halos of non-baryonic dark matter (NBDM) are commonly invoked. The postulated properties are that NBDM interacts gravitationally with baryonic matter, yet negligibly interacts with photons. Since halos are large, low-density gaseous bodies, their postulated attributes can be tested against classical thermodynamics and the kinetic theory of gas. Macroscopic models are appropriate because these make few assumptions. NBDM–NBDM collisions must be elastic to avoid the generation of light, but this does not permit halo gas temperature to evolve. If no such collisions exist, then the impossible limit of absolute zero would be attainable since the other available energy source, radiation, does not provide energy to NBDM. The alternative possibility, an undefined temperature, is also inconsistent with basic thermodynamic principles. However, a definable temperature could be attained via collisions with baryons in the intergalactic medium since these deliver kinetic energy to NBDM. In this case, light would be produced since some proportion of baryon collisions are inelastic, thereby rendering the halo detectable. Collisions with baryons are unavoidable, even if NBDM particles are essentially point masses. Note that <0.0001 × the size of a proton is needed to avoid scattering with γ-rays, the shortest wavelength used to study halos. If only elastic collisions exist, NBDM gas would collapse to a tiny, dense volume (zero volume for point masses) during a disturbance—e.g., cosmic rays. NBDM gas should occupy central galactic regions, not halos, since self-gravitating objects are density stratified. In summary, properties of NBDM halos as postulated would result in violations of thermodynamic laws and in a universe unlike that observed.
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