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ETpro's avatar

What's the matter with matter? (Strange Universe Series -- 2011).

Asked by ETpro (34202 points ) October 18th, 2011

We think the Universe must be made up largely of dark matter, a slow, cold form of as-yet-unknown particle which provides the gravitational glue needed to hold stars together and cause galaxies to accrete from clouds of particles, atoms and dust over time. But new research only deepens the mystery of it’s properties. Dwarf glalxies in our local neighborhood don’t show the gravitational distribution we would expect if dark matter exists as predicted.

After reading the linked article, what do you think about Dark Matter? Why is it so determined to keep is in the dark about its whereabouts? Do you think the entire model of gravity is fatally flawed, and Dark Matter is just a fudge-factor meant to cover the flaw, or that dark matter does exist and eventually we will find and understand it?

Here are the previous questions in the Strange Universe Series – 2011 questions. Here are the previous Strange Universe Series—2011 questions:
1—How do you envision space in more than 3 dimensions, then rotate it to see what happens?
2—How can we be certain the Uncertainty Principle is certain?
3—If the universe is infinite, how big is what it is expanding into?
4—In an expanding universe, how do separate galaxies manage to collide?
5—Since space is expanding and is linked to time, isn’t time expanding as well?
6—How can space expand between individual hydrogen atoms?
7 of False? When you’ve seen one entropy, you’ve seen them all.

The entire 20 Questions Strange Universe Series— 2010 can be found here

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3 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I think 1 or more hidden properties of the universe exist, and “Dark Matter” is a convenient way to hand wave a lot of things.

If we do eventually find dark matter, I believe we will also discover a new fundamental force that controls its behavior, weakly interacts with normal matter, and varies over distance.

poisonedantidote's avatar

On the basis that we can calculate how much fuel we need to put something in to orbit, I’m going to go ahead and say our model of “traditional gravity” is fine.

Also, seeing as we have used gravitational lensing to map dark matter, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s more than likely a real tangible thing.

After reading the linked article, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps there is some kind of colaboration going on. Perhaps matter and dark matter depend on one another in some way. Perhaps dark matter catches the regular matter in place, and the more matter it catches, the more the matter “pulls” on the dark matter, bringing more of it in. Almost like a massive spider web that is over-loaded with flies.

Perhaps, if such an effect exists, it will some how end up reversing the expansion caused by the dark energy, or maybe that is just wishful thinking.

Maybe the universe is not a thing, maybe its several things. Maybe we only came in to being when matter and dark matter originally met up with some dark energy, some place outside our universe.

As an amateur fan of this kind of stuff I know a real scientist could fill in a lot of the blanks for me. However I think I would have more questions for them on dark energy than dark matter. If something is being used to fudge the numbers, it’s probably dark energy. Again, I only have documentaries made for the general public, and articles I find online to go by.

ETpro's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Thanks. I tended toward that thought, but what @poisonedantidote has to say gives me pause. However, I don’t know, @poisonedantidote that a big crunch is a whole lot more thrilling a prospect than eternal expansion and a big chill.

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