Wednesday, May 26, 2010

There Be Dragons on the Dark Matter Issue?

 I have been intrigued by the comparison of the latest reporting by Bee of Backreaction at a workshop at Perimeter Institute about the Laws of Nature: Their Nature and Knowability.

Bee writes, "Yesterday, we had a talk by Marcelo Gleiser titled “What can we know of the world?”."

I look at this from a historical position as it has been outplayed from the beginning as to the understanding that gravity in the universe can have it's counterpart revealed the action of a phenomenology search for the dark matter constituents while describing the state of the uinverse.
The type of detective work described by Sherlock Holmes has been used by astronomers for a long time to deepen our understanding of the universe. Ever since the phenomenal success of Isaac Newton in explaining the motion of the planets with his theory of gravity and laws of motion in 1687, unseen matter has been invoked to explain puzzling observations of cosmic bodies.

For example, the anomalous motion of Uranus led astronomers to suggest that an unseen planet existed, and a few years later, in 1846, Neptune was discovered. This procedure is still the primary method used to discover planets orbiting stars.
A similar line of reasoning led to the detection in 1862, of the faint white dwarf Sirius B in orbit around the bright star Sirius.

In contrast, the attempt to explain the anomalies in the motion of Mercury as due to the existence of a new planet, called Vulcan, did not succeed. The solution turned out to be Einstein's theory of general of relativity, which modified Newton's theory.
Today, astronomers are faced with a similar, though much more severe, problem. Unlike the case of Uranus, where the gravity of Neptune adds a fraction of a percent to the gravitational force acting of Uranus, the extra force needed in the cases described below is several hundred percent! It is no exaggeration to say that solving the dark matter problem will require a profound change in our understanding of the universe. See:Field Guide to Dark Matter

So given the outlay of experiential work to the subject there would be those that counter the proposal to support such research because they believe that such an exercise if fruitless to solving the nature of the cosmos and the way the universe could be expanding according to some speeding up of a gravitational consideration ?


Impressions from the PI workshop on the Laws of Nature

See Also:
There Be Dragons?
Map of North America from 1566 showing both Terra In Cognita and Mare In Cognito.
Sounding Off on the Dark Matter Issue
Dark Matter Discovery Announced by Nasa

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