CfP: Special Issue on Dark Matter & Modified Gravity (Deadline: December 1, 2019)

Submitted by Niels Martens (RWTH Aachen University).

Special Issue on Dark Matter & Modified Gravity

Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics

Deadline: DECEMBER 2019


Astrophysical and cosmological observations as well as explanatory gaps in the Standard Model of particle physics imply the existence of dark matter and/or a modification of our best theory of space, time and gravity, namely general relativity and its Newtonian limit. We invite historical and/or philosophical contributions on dark matter (DM) and/or modified gravity (MG) and especially the interface between these two research programmes. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The underdetermination between DM and MG
  • Is a strict conceptual distinction between DM and MG justified? How does this relate to the distinction between matter and spacetime?
  • What are the explanatory successes and failures of the DM research programme, and of the MG research programme? Which models of explanation are being employed by the respective programmes, and how do those relate?
  • How do data, constraints and explanations at the LHC, in astrophysics and cosmology relate? Could the LHC, in principle, confirm dark matter by itself?
  • Virtues and vices of simplified (dark matter) models. Do simplified models explain?
  • Hybrid models, fifth forces & exotic theories that are neither MG nor DM
  • Connections between dark energy and DM/MG
  • How to proceed in light of the small scale problems?
  • Novel predictions, fine-tuning and falsifiability
  • Sociology of the DM-MG debate (but please note that papers should in the first instance be historical and/or philosophical)

Guest editors:

Miguel Ángel Carretero Sahuquillo (University of Wuppertal)

Michael Krämer (RWTH Aachen University)

Dennis Lehmkuhl (University of Bonn)

Niels Martens (RWTH Aachen University) (Contact person:

Erhard Scholz (University of Wuppertal)

Submissions should follow the standard guidelines of the journal. When submitting, authors should select, for Issue Type, “VSI: Dark Matter & Modified Gravity.”  There’s a drop-down menu when you begin the submission process.