Dark Matter

Category archives for Dark Matter

“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…

“The radiation left over from the Big Bang is the same as that in your microwave oven but very much less powerful. It would heat your pizza only to -271.3°C, not much good for defrosting the pizza, let alone cooking it.” -Stephen Hawking One of the most powerful predictions of the Big Bang — the…

“Much later, when I discussed the problem with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life. But this “blunder,” rejected by Einstein, is still sometimes used by cosmologists even today, and the cosmological constant denoted by the Greek letter Λ rears its ugly…

“Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.” -Max Planck Tomorrow morning, at 8 AM my time, the press conference that cosmologists have spent the past decade waiting for will finally happen, and the Planck satellite — the…

The Unseen Lights in Our Backyard

“As a boy I believed I could make myself invisible. I’m not sure that I ever could, but I certainly had the ability to pass unnoticed.” -Terence Stamp When we look up at the night sky from a dark location here on Earth, somewhere around 6,000 stars greet you on a clear night. This is…