Aeon writer asks: Has dogma derailed the search for dark matter?
|November 29, 2016||Posted by News under Cosmology, Fine tuning, News|
Probably, but let’s let him tell it: From Pavel Kroupa at Aeon:
The issues at stake are huge. Acceptance of dark matter has influenced scientific thinking about the birth of the Universe, the evolution of galaxies and black holes, and the fundamental laws of physics. Yet even within academic circles, there is a lot of confusion about dark matter, with evidence and interpretation often conflated in misleading and unproductive ways.
The first step is that we need to revisit the validity of Newton’s universal law of gravitation. Starting in the 1980s, Mordehai Milgrom at the Weizmann Institute in Israel showed that a small generalisation of Newton’s laws can yield the observed dynamics of matter in galaxies and in galaxy clusters without dark matter. This approach is broadly known as MOND (MOdified Newtonian Dynamics). Milgrom’s correction allows gravitational attraction to fall off with distance more slowly than expected (rather than falling off with the square of distance as per Newton) when the local gravitational acceleration falls below an extremely low threshold. This threshold could be linked to other cosmological properties such as the ‘dark energy’ that accounts for the accelerating expansion of the Universe.
These links suggest a deeper fundamental theory of space, time and matter, which has not yet been formulated. Few researchers have pursued such an alternative hypothesis, partly because it seems to question the validity of general relativity. However, this need not be the case; additional physical effects related to the quantum physics of empty space and to the nature of mass might be playing a role. MOND also faces its own challenges, both observational and theoretical. Its biggest drawback is that MOND is not yet well-anchored to general relativity. Because of the prevailing dark-matter dogma, few scientists dare to build on Milgrom’s ideas. Young researchers risk not getting a job; senior researchers face losing out on grants.More.
Risk not getting a job? Hey, we should introduce this guy to some non-Darwinian biologists.
Seriously, a thought experiment: What if it became clear that no correct description of the nature and role of dark matter provided any support for a multiverse? Would the same people still be interested?
One hesitates to suggest that a correct description would make the multiverse less likely because there is simply no evidence for it now—and logically something can’t be less than nothing. (?)
But the desire to avoid the implications of the fine-tuning of the universe for life keeps the spectre floating over the witch’s vat.
See also: A proposed dark matter solution means gravity is an illusion
Multiverse cosmology at your fingertips
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