Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Search for dark matter: Greatest endeavor or biggest scam?

Here's the problem. When observing a galaxy spinning in space, the laws of gravity (brought to us by Sir Isaac Newton, of course) tell us they should be falling apart. There's simply not enough mass to hold them together. To compensate, some scientist suggest there's this stuff called "dark matter" that makes up for the missing mass.

To make our observations synch with the laws of gravity, it's suggested that 90 percent of the universe is made up of dark matter. Ninety percent. We don't know what makes up ninety percent of the universe.

Really? Well, if you believe that, it may be incredibly humbling now, but may be incredibly embarrassing later.

Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation is probably the right explanation. Well, what's simpler, that we don't know what makes up 90 percent of the universe (perhaps we don't have instruments sensitive enough to detect it) or that the laws of gravity are wrong?

"Maybe we can't work out what dark matter is because it doesn't actually exist," suggests New Scientist in the very interesting article, "
13 things that do not make sense." "If I could have my pick, I would like to learn that Newton's laws must be modified… that's more appealing than a universe filled with a new kind of sub-nuclear particle," one astronomer told New Scientist.


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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.