Dark Matter

Category archives for Dark Matter

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.” -Benjamin Franklin The history of science is rife with stories of cases where a person or team, usually with a lot of clout, reached a conclusion that seemed incontrovertible. When that occurs, we often find that subsequent measurements agree with that conclusion, even if that…

“When their eyes grew dim with looking at unrevealing dials and studying uneventful graphs, they could step outside their concrete cells and renew their dull spirits in communion with the giant mechanism they commanded, the silent, sensing instrument in which the smallest packets of energy, the smallest waves of matter, were detected in their headlong,…

“If you take a galaxy and try to make it bigger, it becomes a cluster of galaxies, not a galaxy. If you try to make it smaller than that, it seems to blow itself apart.” -Jeremiah P. Ostriker 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it was born with no stars, no clusters…

“Gamow was fantastic in his ideas. He was right, he was wrong. More often wrong than right. Always interesting; … and when his idea was not wrong it was not only right, it was new.” -Edward Teller Considering what we know about our Universe today, it’s hard to believe that just a century ago, Einstein’s…

“A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself.” -Robert Burton Both the internal motions of individual galaxies and the wholesale motions of galaxies within clusters require much more mass than normal matter — protons, neutrons and electrons — can account for: about five times as much. Because…

“Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them.” -Samuel Johnson Dark matter may make up 27% of the Universe’s energy density, compared to just 5% of normal (atomic) matter, but in our Solar System, it’s notoriously sparse. In particular,…

“It may be that ultimately the search for dark matter will turn out to be the most expensive and largest null result experiment since the Michelson-Morley experiment, which failed to detect the ether.” -John Moffat Dark matter is a puzzle that’s now more than 80 years old: the presence of all the known, observable, detectable…

“The discrepancy between what was expected and what has been observed has grown over the years, and we’re straining harder and harder to fill the gap.” –Jeremiah P. Ostriker When it comes to the structure of the Universe — forming the galaxies, clusters, and Universe as we see it — the normal 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 When Fritz Zwicky first calculated what the mass of a galaxy…

“All enterprises that are entered into with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigor at first, but are sure to collapse in the end.” –Tacitus If you want to form a structure like a planet, star or black hole, you need a large amount of mass together in one place. The way to bring…