Strange Dark Matter Theory

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Vulcan Logician, May 31, 2013.

  1. Vulcan Logician

    Vulcan Logician Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This just came out of my head:

    Perhaps dark matter is simply matter that has been sucked through a black hole and presses itself against the universe from the other side of the fabric of space. Thus it contributes to gravitational mass but does not interact with matter in any other way. Discuss!
     
  2. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Nobel prize committee just experienced a collective erection -- including the women members.
     
  3. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Dark Matter is bad science.

    Let me see if I got this right: a bunch of scientists wanted to measure the mass of the universe. They did a bunch of calculations and then compared the results of the calculations to the observable universe and found that they didn't match and that the universe had much more gravitational pull than their calculations said there should be. So the scientists then said: "Hey, our calculations can't be wrong - the universe must be wrong." And they came up with the idea of some invisible matter to compensate.

    Their calculations were supposed to conform to the universe, the universe isn't supposed to conform to their calculations.

    Bad, bad science.

    I will be utterly shocked if they ever completely confirm that Dark Matter exists.
     
  4. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but the main question remains unanswered: is the other side of the fabric of space... plaid?

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP6DXoNKITc[/yt]
     
  5. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Very, very true. However...

    There are astrophysicists who've already declared dark matter "proven" in the same way that X-rays "prove" black holes, or traffic jams prove that roadways spawn cars. There simply couldn't be any other explanation! Occam's razor be damned! Modern astrophysics is like the current trend in safety razors with 6 blades—far too complex and completely unusable.
     
  6. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    I'd love to see your take on it, guys. In published papers, please.
     
  7. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The simpler explanation would be that the method of measuring mass based on the brightness of stars is flawed. The mass of galaxies calculated based on their motion is heavier than the mass calculated based on their brightness. That's the root of the contradiction, and why they had to introduce "Dark Matter" that somehow, magically, is invisible and ONLY interacts with ONE of the 4 forces: gravity.
     
  8. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sure, if you can tell me how to publish a paper in that field without having a degree in that field. I can't even publish an article in Archaeology Today without having a degree in archaeology.
     
  9. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think you can. You don't have to have a degree and don't need a university to back you up (well, if you are willing to pay for the submission yourself). If the paper is good, if the science is sound, they take it.

    But yeah, iguana_tonante's post is pretty much arrogant and condescending.
     
  10. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or that there is more to the structure and movement of the universe than gravity.
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But that's not really the simpler explanation. ;)
     
  12. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sure it is. We've been sitting on the answers for over a century, since Birkeland. (I'm talking about laboratory tests here, not mathematical models.) Assuming that our mass measurements are wrong doesn't fundamentally change anything; you'll end up inventing more "dark matter-like" theories to make everything work. The H-R diagram isn't what it seems, either.

    The best primer on the subject is Donald Scott's THE ELECTRIC SKY. There are many other fine books, but this one is the best intro for newcomers.
     
  13. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    OK, now that I finished masturbating three times in a row to this story, I came to a point of a big disappointment. The mass doesn't add up. How come it is both in the black holes, photons from Hawking radiation and dark matter at the same time? Did dark matter made of our long-dead corpses come out of the black holes in the distant future like Nero did? Are we walking over our own cold corpses?

    And to anyone who claims that dark matter is not good science – there is a reason that dark matter is the leading theory in where the missing mass is. If it was bad science or there was a "simpler" explanation to it (like mismeasurement) the scientists would have gone for it. Dark matter fits with the observations, it has been used to make predictions that have been experimentally verified and has been mapped on multiple occasions. To make a bad analogy, it's like claiming that NASA using Hollywood special effects is a simpler explanation to Apollo photographs than an actual Moon landing – an astoundingly true statement, but it does not fit the data. Both the Moon landing records and dark matter evidence are far too elaborate.

    What's more weird is that there is nothing special about dark matter, and all the talk against it is some irrational dislike that has no grounds. Its existence would be no more weird than the existence of normal matter, which is already there. There is no reason for all matter to interact through the rest of the forces. And whatever is causing the mass discrepancy is not evenly distributed across space, so it has some carrier, and we call these things matter for some reason. If you like you can believe it is caused by, say, a random uneven distortion of spacetime, go for it, but it is mathematically the same thing.

    Yeah, you are right, we shouldn't go around coming up with particles, matter and stuff for anything, particles, matter and stuff are expensive in their complexity, but we have exhausted the remaining options.
     
  14. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe that should tell you something. Also, that's factually wrong, because you can: your work only has to pass the peer review examination, and it's done. Which is something that I doubt it will, but that's another story.

    Well, that's pretty much my job here on the board. That, and being right most of the time.

    From the book description:

    The gist of the book seems to be: "I don't understand it, so it must be wrong". Science!

    No, they can't. Just like the "average person" can't become a neurosurgeon just because they'd really like to, the "average person" can't suddenly become an expert in astrophysics because "all that science-y talk is hard, man: let's make it simpler!".

    No, it requires a lot more. Effort, study, talent and drive.

    No, they won't. Just like you need years of study and work to become an accomplished neurosurgeon (and let's not talk about an innovator in the field), you can't improvise astrophysical discoveries with "common sense", high school maths, and a unyielding belief that the universe must bow down to your personal ability to understand stuff.

    Then the goal is idiotic, because it doesn't work like that. Any idiot with delusions of grandeur can't make informed, critical judgement about the pronouncements of established science. It just ain't so.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  15. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    What is it about cosmology and particle physics that attracts so many laypersons to throw their two cents in? Is it because those fields seem arbitrary and non-mathematical, so any idea is as valid as any other? There's a reason that an extensive background in physics is necessary to participate in the research. Reading Hawking's and Brian Greene's pop sci books doesn't make a person qualified to propose a hypothesis on the subject.
     
  16. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We live in a world where the most simple and prosaic act of skimming over a Wikipedia article with your morning coffee on your iPad makes you magically know more about dark matter than a physicist, more about climate change than a climate scientist, more about orbital mechanics than a rocket scientist, more about gender dysphoria than a psychologist, more about evolution than an evolutionary biologist and more about making children than the stork.

    You glimpse over the article and cry “bullshit!” spilling the coffee all over your tablet. Some select individuals can achieve that after one YouTube video. That's our progress, people. We've gone far, and we'd go further. Billions of years from now, on the farthest edge of the galaxy, we would still be arguing about it.
     
  17. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I figured as much: resort to ad hominem. I'm guessing you haven't read the book or any of the other work on plasma cosmology since you are quoting only a few items from the description of Scott's book. Instead, refuse to "look through the telescope" and the heresy will go away.

    Science is supposed to be different from politics and religion, but many people have trouble shifting gears. And I'm not here to "convert" anyone. Or perhaps you prefer the word of "authority" figures over observational and experimental evidence. In that case, you should look up the work of Stephen J. Crothers. He's not a plasma physicist, but a mathematician, and he pokes holes in all the "mainstream" ideas, such as black holes and the like—most of which turn out to be mistaken notions pumped up by other physicists.

    Or you might look up the work of Nobel prize winner Hannes Alfvén, a controversial yet highly respected figure in astrophysics. His books are not for the layperson, which should be more convincing for you. Lots of math.

    By all means, do not even bother to read Scott's book or anything outside the mainstream. If it's not extremely esoteric and accepted by the "big names" in astrophysics, then it must be worthless. (The assumption being that alternative theories are all proposed by armchair quarterbacks, and not degreed scientists with many years in the field. Most of these "mavericks" started their careers as orthodox as the next guy, but something made them change their minds. Why should that be worth a listen?)
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    When I popped into the thread, I was expecting an OP about a recent story in a scientific journal, about the latest theory of dark matter, that perhaps had some interesting twist, basically like you see on Slashdot. With a link to a story.

    But, no. Not even any science.

    Just something on the level of that part in Animal House, when they get high with Donald Sutherland as the college professor:

    "That means that our whole solar system could be, like, one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being.... That means one tiny atom in my fingernail could be ... one little tiny universe."​

    Not that I really have any cause to complain, but you know, for future reference or whatever.

    Discuss!
     
  19. FlyingLemons

    FlyingLemons Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If it shows a hint of actually having anything to it, someone looking to make a name for themselves will work on it and try and turn it into a workable theory that connects with experiment. A cursory glance at "plasma cosmology" appears to reveal that it's unconvincing when it runs into the data from WMAP and Planck.

    It's got to convincingly reproduce, rather than replace what has been observed (as Newtonian mechanics emerges from relativity, etc) and it doesn't appear plasma cosmology advocates have many answers there. Given that science is skeptical by nature, it's on them to convince their peers that there's something there worth working on them. If it can't stand up to peer review, then chances are it's junk. I've seen it happen many times before.

    I've received numerous crackpot theories from various would-be "maverick" Nobel laureates, and a surprising amount of them are light on math (which never really adds up) and heavy on the rant, like so:

    tl;dr: he failed his PhD and blames everyone but himself for this. The theory is less about pushing forward knowledge, and more about revenge on academia for a perceived slight.

    If he'd had been any cop at it, he'd have gotten a doctorate by demonstrating the potential veracity of his ideas or he would have had the sense to look over the math early enough to think "Wow, this is junk" and find a more profitable avenue of study. Learning to do that is what a PhD is about, and getting one is proof that you can do this well.

    Or iguana can spend his time on his own ideas and his own career.

    Most "mavericks" start out fine and then get hooked on some idea they lack the critical faculty to work out is bunkum and then go on to turn the frustration they feel at their pet theory not working into a crusade with them as the lone hero fighting against a "corrupt establishment" that is "oppressing" them.

    Occasionally someone comes up with an interesting idea that's not been widely heard of before, but it never comes from lunatics who froth about physically fighting "men who dress like girls" over not getting their ideas accepted, like the Crothers bloke you dug up. "You don't accept my ideas, ergo you are a girly man I will punch" is not really acceptable discourse in any line of work, let alone academia.

    The iguana speaks truth and wisdom when he says it's idiotic.
     
  20. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    His letters are hilarious.
     

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