Dark Matter

Category archives for Dark Matter

The Whole Story on Dark Matter

“Science progresses best when observations force us to alter our preconceptions.” -Vera Rubin I want you to think about the Universe. The whole thing; about everything that physically exists, both visible and invisible, about the laws of nature that they obey, and about your place in it. It’s a daunting, terrifying, and simultaneously beautiful and…

“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 You very likely know that there are four fundamental forces in the Universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear…

A Dark Matter Deluge

“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 Making the entire Universe isn’t easy. Even with 13.7 billion years of time, general relativity and all the known particles in…

The Status of Dark Matter

“By now you must know that your father can never be turned from the Dark Side. So will it be with you.” -Emperor Palpatine, Return of the Jedi You’ve heard about dark matter. It’s the notion that the Universe is somehow very much different than the small corner of it that we’re most familiar with.…

“The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.” -Alan Saporta One of the greatest puzzles in the Universe today is just why the Universe is structured the way it is. For the individual galaxies that we see, the puzzle is why they rotate at the speeds they do. If the only…

And the Temperature of Dark Matter is…?

“A fact never went into partnership with a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of wonders. A fact will fit every other fact in the universe, and that is how you can tell whether it is or is not a fact. A lie will not fit anything except another lie.” -Robert Green Ingersoll One of the…

Dark Matter Haters to the Left

“When you make the finding yourself — even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light — you’ll never forget it.” -Carl Sagan When we talk about dark matter and its alternatives, we are talking about no less a task than explaining the structure of every large object in the Universe. This…

The Universe is Biased!

“Fortunately for serious minds, a bias recognized is a bias sterilized.” -Benjamin Haydon You might look up at the night sky, at the vast canopy of stars we can see, and ask, exactly, what we’re seeing? Thousands upon thousands of stars, of course, even with just your naked eye. These stars come in all sorts…

What Dark Matter’s Alternatives Must Do

“The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.” -Milton Friedman Dark matter is one of the most important components of the Universe today. And yet in the public’s eye, almost no one accepts it the way, say, the Big Bang is accepted. But it should be, and…

Why Dark Matter Rules Mini-Galaxies!

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” -Max Planck (For Alan L., from the comments on this post.) When you look out at the night sky, with…