Dark Matter

Category archives for Dark Matter

“We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes, we arrive at the frontier of the known universe.” -Edwin Hubble When you look out at the distant Universe, you…

“Two recent studies by teams in the U.S. and the Netherlands have shown that the gamma-ray excess at the galactic center is speckled, not smooth as we would expect for a dark matter signal. Those results suggest the speckles may be due to point sources that we can’t see as individual sources…” -Eric Charles When…

“Dark matter or invisible element? You decide.” -Toba Beta The dark matter wars rage on and on, with both sides — those in favor of modifying gravity and those in favor of adding an additional mass component to the Universe — claiming victories for their own side and defeat for the other. But one piece…

“In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down, as far as possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience.” -Niels Bohr When it comes to galaxies, clusters of galaxies or the largest-scales on the Universe, dark matter is absolutely required.…

“For me the best answer is not in words but in measurements.” -Elena Aprile Dark matter is perhaps the most mysterious substance in the Universe. It outmasses normal matter and radiation, which includes all the known particles in the Standard Model, by a factor of 5-to-1. The observational, astrophysical evidence for its existence is overwhelming,…

“You may hate gravity, but gravity doesn’t care.” –Clayton Christensen If all we had were galactic rotation curves — like those measured by Vera Rubin — we would know that something was wrong with our picture of the Universe, but we wouldn’t know how. Two equally good explanations, that there was either a flaw in…

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” -Aleister Crowley As we learn more and more about the Universe, we’d like to describe it…

“Science progresses best when observations force us to alter our preconceptions.” -Vera Rubin When you look at a galaxy in the night sky, it’s easy to imagine that it’s just a system of masses like our Solar System, except on a larger scale. Instead of a single, central mass, you have many stars responsible for…

“…axions are potentially detectable through their weak coupling to electromagnetism…” -Aaron Chou We know, from hundreds of years of experience with the laws of physics, that momentum is strictly conserved, and therefore a reactionless drive is impossible. What’s not impossible is an engine that has a reaction that’s simply invisible, or otherwise undetectable to us.…

“All we know so far is what doesn’t work.” -Richard Feynman The past month has seen a slew of papers out highlighting the tension between modified gravity and dark matter. Both recognize the same puzzles and problems with the Universe, and both ideas recognize that either one could be valid. In fact, if you look…