Tuesday, January 7, 2014

STILL IN THE DARK – Dark Matter pro’s & con’s

Dark Matter has long stymied me as I seek to understand all things in outer space.  Part of me in somewhat disturbed that I cannot as yet develop a theory and part of me is curious as to if it really exists. After all what is Dark Matter?

Dark Matter is something that is merely postulated to exist due to gravitational effects that can be observed. ‘It’ is thought to comprise of a massive portion of the entire universe based on the effects witnessed but it is not detected by direct observation. Call it a conundrum; call it a paradox; but in reality the definition of Dark Matter is nonexistent.

We attribute the gravitational effects we witness which are in excess to things that DO exist by explaining it is caused by something whose existence we cannot support. But let’s explore this more.

A way to calculate the rotation of a galaxy’s body or disk is by tracking how quickly stars move around its center – where the visible matter is more concentrated. Any variations in rotational velocity should therefore indicate regions of varying gravity and more importantly to this discussion, mass. At least this is the general concept. HOWEVER a puzzling discovery was made, while expecting to see more rotation towards the center of a galaxy due to the visible matter that habituates that area, instead stars at the edge of a galaxy have the same rotational velocity as those near the center. This was found to be true first in the Milky Way, the Andromeda, and so on.

Rather than considering that perhaps something was fundamentally wrong with our understanding of gravity and rotation, since Newton’s laws had stood the test of time, instead this invisible form of matter was held responsible.

While I must admit I find the idea attractive in many ways, I must admit I also see many holes. In addition I have a general need to go against things when something is simply assumed. It is too pat too organized to enter in an unseen villain then research the actual cause.

Is it even possible that the rules of gravity as we understand stand them are correct but have an additional character in their calculations? Maybe this doesn’t make a difference to calculations on Earth because in our case it would have the effect of multiplying by one. Perhaps the gravitational constant is not so constant? Perhaps how things act in atmosphere versus in a vacuum or some high percentage of a vacuum differ greater than supposed. Remember, we discovered, big surprise, and rather recently, that the speed of light through a pure vacuum in a lab and in space differ somewhat. That stood the test of time as well! And then whoops!

As we become more skilled; our scientific instruments more specific and detailed, the universe comes into better view. Just because a caveman dropped a rock and it hurt his toe isn’t a reason to create Dark Matter.

I’m not saying it does not exist, but I am not sure it is as yet time to create a new party until we have exhausted other possibilities.

I plan on looking into further when I can set a lab up to run the tests I believe necessary. Probably about six months or so – but for arguments sake here is an experiment to run if you already have a lab: In a pure vacuum get a solar system model to act as our solar system does. The measure the speed and gravity involved. Should this instance suggest the same results & indicate Dark Matter, isolate the area that is not occupied by the planets & Sun and weigh it. Does it have mass? OKAY – suppose the results show that they don’t move at the same amount as in the ‘real’ Solar system. Try it again using instead of a pure vacuum, true space. That means including all the forces that space holds and among those is Electromagnetism. This, interestingly enough, is mediated by a particle called a photon. This force is also extremely important at the subatomic level.

I’m going stop now. I am not ready to offer a real theory, but I am simply advising you not to put all your faith in the one suggested.

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