Published in Fund.Cosmic Phys. 21 (2000) 1-154
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Abstract: We review the topic of rotation curves of spiral galaxies emphasizing the standard interpretation as evidence for the existence of dark matter halos. Galaxies other than spirals and late-type dwarfs may also possess great amounts of dark matter, and therefore ellipticals, dwarf spirals, lenticulars and polar ring galaxies are also considered. Furthermore, other methods for determining galactic dark matter, such as those provided by binaries, satellites or globular clusters, have to be included. Cold dark matter hierarchical models constitute the standard way to explain rotation curves, and thus the problem becomes just one aspect of a more general theory explaining structure and galaxy formation. Alternative theories also are included. In the magnetic model, rotation curves could also be a particular aspect of the whole history of cosmic magnetism during different epochs of the Universe. Modifications of Newtonian Dynamics provide another interesting possibility which is discussed here.
Keywords: rotation curve, spiral galaxies, cosmology.