Dark Matter

Category archives for Dark Matter

“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…

“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 mass of the universe seems to be missing.” –William J. Broad When we look out at the Universe, the other things we see…

When it comes to dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up the vast majority of the mass in the Universe, there’s a whole lot we don’t understand or know about it. You might think that there are so many unknowns that are so huge that — quite reasonably — perhaps it doesn’t exist at all,…

“I soon became convinced… that all the theorizing would be empty brain exercise and therefore a waste of time unless one first ascertained what the population of the universe really consists of.” –Fritz Zwicky When we look out at the galaxies in the Universe, watching how they rotate, we find that the starlight we see…

Dark Matter: Giver of Life (Synopsis)

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” –Joseph Campbell When you think about dark matter, you probably think of a few things: how mass and gravity don’t appear to line up, how there isn’t enough normal matter to account for the motions we see on scales of galaxies and up, and how…