Cosmology News

Is there really any dark matter?

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New research makes one wonder.

From New Scientist:

Despite tantalising early hints of a sighting, the most sensitive search yet for dark matter has come up empty. First results from the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) detector in South Dakota, announced today, failed to confirm previous potential sightings reported by other detectors. That may spell trouble for elegant recent theories of a shadow universe where myriad particles interact via their own dark forces.

Dark matter is the invisible stuff thought to make up about 80 per cent of the universe’s matter, and that gives away its presence only by exerting a gravitational tug on ordinary matter. The most popular dark matter candidates are weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). So far unseen, these would also interact with normal matter via the weak force, so should smack into it every so often in a way that can be detected. More.

So it is 80% of the universe’s matter, but we can’t find any?

Fox News: The dark matter search has come up empty:

The most advanced Earth-based search for the mysterious material that has mass but cannot be seen turned up “absolutely no signal” of dark matter, said Richard Gaitskell of Brown University, a scientist working on the Large Underground Xenon experiment, or LUX. A detector attached to the International Space Station has so far failed to find any dark matter either.

Essentially, scientists are searching for something they are fairly sure exists and is crucial to the entire universe. But they do not know what it looks like or where to find it. And they are not sure if it’s a bunch of light particles that weakly interact or if it is more like a black hole.

“It’s ghost-like matter,” McKinsey said.

Just in time for Hallowe’en.

Seriously, let’s give credit where credit is due. At least they are not pretending dark matter exists the way the UFO buffs use the Copernican Principle to pretend that They Are Out There.

See also Wired Science

10 Replies to “Is there really any dark matter?

  1. 1
    tjguy says:

    This does nothing to solve the problem that Dark Matter was invented for. And yet the Standard Model(Big Bang) needs this invisible stuff to remain viable.

    Maybe one day we’ll find it. Or, maybe we won’t. Who knows?

  2. 2
    Collin says:

    I don’t know the math or science, but this does look like “epicycles.” Maybe I’ll do more research and it will make more sense to me.

  3. 3
    scordova says:

    Dark Matter was concocted to solve problems like Galaxy formation and evolution. My professor, James Trefil, wrote a chapter in his book on Dark Matter “the five reasons galaxies can’t exist”.

    Dark Matter was meant to solve the problem of why Galaxies exist, but with no dark matter, then another explanation for galaxies’ existence is necessary. How about special creation or ID of galaxies. 🙂

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    Pretty much all of the dark matter in our planetary system is concentrated in the Oort Cloud. 😉

  5. 5
    butifnot says:

    Pretty much all of the dark matter in our planetary system is concentrated in the Oort Cloud. 😉

    Querius, am I getting the joke – That the Ort Cloud was ‘invented’ by belief also, not evidence?

  6. 6
    butifnot says:

    Dark Matter was meant to solve the problem of why Galaxies exist, but with no dark matter, then another explanation for galaxies’ existence is necessary. How about special creation or ID of galaxies. 🙂

    How about the increasingly evident electrical nature of the universe?

  7. 7

    Have they checked between the ears of materialists?

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    Did you know there is dark matter in the genome?

    Dark matter: are mice the solution to missing heritability?

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    BIN,

    Yep, that was my intent. The problem the Oort cloud attempts to address is why after billions of years, there are any comets left at all. The solution is to postulate a giant gumball machine in outer space that dispenses comets. There. Problem solved.

    The possibilities of a plasma-generated solar system is intriging. It would help explain a lot of things, including how our moon came to be.

    Incidentally, with a plasma origin, the solar system supposedly would have formed from the outside in—the Sun being formed last.

  10. 10
    Querius says:

    scordova,

    Dark Matter was concocted to solve problems like Galaxy formation and evolution. My professor, James Trefil, wrote a chapter in his book on Dark Matter “the five reasons galaxies can’t exist”.

    Heh, I like this line of reasoning!

    Dark Matter was meant to solve the problem of why Galaxies exist, but with no dark matter, then another explanation for galaxies’ existence is necessary.

    I’m sure your professor would agree that coming up with a plausible explanation is not for wimps!

    Look, it’s Friday night . . . 🙂

    – Q

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