Dark Matter

Category archives for Dark Matter

Ask Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof

“Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” -Dream Hampton Perhaps no word in the English language generates as much misunderstanding as the word theory. In scientific circles, this word has a very specific meaning that’s different from everyday use, and — as a theoretical…

The Largest Trainwrecks in the Universe

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.” -Edna St. Vincent Millay It was just a little while ago that we were all speculating wildly — and optimistically — about Comet…

“I followed him at the time and thought he was hysterical.  He was the first serial killer, a new kettle of fish, because we didn’t have the detection techniques in those days.” -Matthew Bright You can’t get mad at a team for trying the improbable, hoping that nature cooperates. Some of the most famous discoveries…

The Little Bit of Dark Matter We Know

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux … is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” -William J. Broad It was in the 1930s, looking at dense clusters of…

“One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range.” -Victor Hugo A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the most distant galaxy (so far) in the known Universe, a galaxy so far away that it takes exclusively infrared observations from our most power space telescopes (Hubble and Spitzer) in order…

“To disagree leads to study, to study leads to understanding, to understand is to appreciate, to appreciate is to love. So maybe I’ll end up loving your theory.” -John Wheeler Out there in the Universe, there’s a lot to marvel at. Over billions of years, gravity has attracted different portions of the expanding Universe together…

The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry

“Supposedly she’d died, but here she was again–somewhat changed, but you couldn’t kill her. Not when the truest part of her hadn’t even been born.” -Denis Johnson Over the past 100 years, our picture of the Universe has changed dramatically, on both the largest scales and the smallest. On the large-scales, we’ve gone from a…

What Makes Up The Universe?

“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us—there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, or falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” -Carl…

What Matters about Dark Matter?

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux… is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” -William J. Broad Three classic observations — the Hubble expansion of the Universe, the…

“On what can we now place our hopes of solving the many riddles which still exist as to the origin and composition of cosmic rays?” -Victor Francis Hess We’ve come a tremendously long way in our understanding of the Universe, but there are plenty of mysteries still to be revealed. Way back in the late…