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Once more:“What if dark matter doesn’t exist?”

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3-D impression of dark matter via Hubble

From Natalie Wolchover at Quanta, on the Dutch theoretical physicist Erik Verlinde, who argues that it doesn’t:

he latest attempt to explain away dark matter is a much-discussed proposal by Erik Verlinde, a theoretical physicist at the University of Amsterdam who is known for bold and prescient, if sometimes imperfect, ideas. In a dense 51-page paper posted online on Nov. 7, Verlinde casts gravity as a byproduct of quantum interactions and suggests that the extra gravity attributed to dark matter is an effect of “dark energy” — the background energy woven into the space-time fabric of the universe.

To make his case, Verlinde has adopted a radical perspective on the origin of gravity that is currently in vogue among leading theoretical physicists. Einstein defined gravity as the effect of curves in space-time created by the presence of matter. According to the new approach, gravity is an emergent phenomenon. Space-time and the matter within it are treated as a hologram that arises from an underlying network of quantum bits (called “qubits”), much as the three-dimensional environment of a computer game is encoded in classical bits on a silicon chip. Working within this framework, Verlinde traces dark energy to a property of these underlying qubits that supposedly encode the universe. On large scales in the hologram, he argues, dark energy interacts with matter in just the right way to create the illusion of dark matter. More.

The principal reason that the dark matter controversy is important is that there has never been a single particle of dark matter discovered, yet it gets rent-free space as an abstraction in thousands of physicists’ heads throughout their careers. How cogently we choose to handle the problem says a fair bit about the future of science.

See also: Aeon writer asks: Has dogma derailed the search for dark matter?

Is gravity an illusion?

and

How do dark energy and dark matter relate to ID?

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6 Replies to “Once more:“What if dark matter doesn’t exist?”

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    “On large scales in the hologram, he argues, dark energy interacts with matter in just the right way”

    Just the right way, just what we need – more fine tuning. And more evidence for Elon Musk and the “Simulation Theory” gang:)
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja.....d4cf0931bb

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    “When the gravitational acceleration felt by a star drops below a certain level — precisely 0.00000000012 meters per second per second, or 100 billion times weaker than we feel on the surface of the Earth — he postulated that gravity somehow switches from an inverse-square law to something close to an inverse-distance law. “There’s this magic scale,” McGaugh said. “Above this scale, everything is normal and Newtonian.”

    “Normal and Newtonian”? What? Newton BELIEVED in Magic lol. (So did the The Lovin’ Spoonful but that is beside the point.)

  3. 3
    ppolish says:

    I mean, c’mon – you HAVE to believe in Magic to discover the calculus. Codiscover I mean. Convergent Evolution lol. Theist & Deist.

  4. 4

    I have submitted a paper where I argue that “dark matter” is simply comets. The peculiar properties (negative viscosity, McGaugh’s 3rd law, Verlinde’s MOND) that lead to all this “dark sector” physics, are simply due to “active particles”, such as bubbles in a foam, swimming bacteria, magneto-fluids in electromagnetic fields. In other words, particles that have some coherence and energy source not dictated by classical thermodynamics. It’s not black magic, its simply “non-equilibrium thermodynamics” and its been around 60 years or more. It was 19th century Victorian science that brought us Democritean dumb particles and diffusion laws. The 20th century brought us QM and lasers and computers. Isn’t it time to move into the 21st century and talk about coherent NTE systems?

    So why do very bright people get coerced into invoking exotic, never-before-seen physical laws (invoking dumb, 19th century particles) when simple NTE physics works beautifully? Is it that they are ignorant of a 60-year old field of physics? Or perhaps that have delusions of fame and grandeur following the exotic solution? Or perhaps the money is not in NTE answers? Roger Penrose puts his explanation in the title: Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy.

    I’m at a loss to explain what “Faith” is doing in Penrose’s title. I thought Faith was adherence to tradition, but in his case, it is adherence to Novelty and Progress. I think the Biblical term for that is “Foolishness”. But whatever the reason is, it has infected all fields of physics: global warming models, big bang models, astroparticle acceleration models, magnetospheric models, biological evolution models, etc. Whatever causes this disease, it is highly infectious and no respecter of any subfield of science.

    Sometimes I think it is fame. Other times I think it is money. And when it is neither I suspect it is philosophy. It is a siren song, and science has proven especially vulnerable to it.

  5. 5
    ppolish says:

    Simply comets makes sense Dr Sheldon. Heck, we don’t even know what makes up the “invisible” part of our own puny solar system:)

    http://www.astronomy.com/news/.....ng-weirder

  6. 6
    Pearlman says:

    a case of ‘the emperor’s new clothes’ ?
    SPIRAL cosmological redshift hypothesis explains why no requirement for the missing dark matter and energy
    as no ongoing cosmic expansion and a young universe.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291972501_ThePearlmanSPIRALvsSCM

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