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Dark matter, the elusive substance that accounts for the majority of the mass in the universe, may be made up of massive particles called gravitons that first popped into existence in the first moment after the Big Bang. And these hypothetical particles might be cosmic refugees from extra dimensions, a new theory suggests. 

The researchers’ calculations hint that these particles could have been created in just the right quantities to explain dark matter, which can only be “seen” through its gravitational pull on ordinary matter. “Massive gravitons are produced by collisions of ordinary particles in the early universe. This process was believed to be too rare for the massive gravitons to be dark matter candidates,” study co-author Giacomo Cacciapaglia, a physicist at the University of Lyon in France, told Live Science.

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