Posts Tagged ‘Dark matter’

Physics invokes magical “stealthy dark matter”

September 25, 2015

Physics is just a branch of the ultimate science – that of “Magic”. All the fundamental unknowns of physics are given special names (in lieu of explanation) and are assumed to have just those properties (often fantastical) which allow theoretical models of cosmology to maintain some credibility and come close to matching observations.

“Spacetime”, “gravitation”, “dark matter”, “dark energy” and even “phantom dark matter” can all just be termed “the mellifluous aether”, “magical attraction”, “magic matter”, “magic energy”, and “even more magic energy” without any loss of whatever rigour exists in Physics.

The methodology is quite simple.

First, invent a theory to explain what we don’t know. Then do some fancy maths to back up the theory. Whenever the theory fails, define a magic particle or event or property which brings credibility back to the theory. Spend vast amounts of money on Big Science experiments to find the magic particle or event or property. Find something other than the magic particle or property or event that was predicted. Claim that what was found was a special case of the magic “thing” that was predicted and due to some new magic particle or event or property. Demand more money to do more and bigger Big Science experiments. Magic demands more magic. And so an ad infinitum.

But magic demands more magic – deeper and more profound.

And so we have a new theory of stealthy dark matter to explain why it is undetectable.

Thomas Appelquist et al, Direct Detection of Stealth Dark Matter through Electromagnetic Polarizability. Physical Review Letters, 2015

Press Release: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have come up with a new theory that may identify why dark matter has evaded direct detection in Earth-based experiments.

A group of national particle physicists known as the Lattice Strong Dynamics Collaboration, led by a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team, has combined theoretical and computational physics techniques and used the Laboratory’s massively parallel 2-petaflop Vulcan supercomputer to devise a new model of dark matter. It identifies it as naturally “stealthy” ( like its namesake aircraft, difficult to detect) today, but would have been easy to see via interactions with ordinary matter in the extremely high-temperature plasma conditions that pervaded the early universe. ……. 

Dark matter makes up 83 percent of all matter in the universe and does not interact directly with electromagnetic or strong and weak nuclear forces. Light does not bounce off of it, and ordinary matter goes through it with only the feeblest of interactions. Essentially invisible, it has been termed dark matter, yet its interactions with gravity produce striking effects on the movement of galaxies and galactic clusters, leaving little doubt of its existence. …….. 

The key to stealth dark matter’s split personality is its compositeness and the miracle of confinement. Like quarks in a neutron, at high temperatures these electrically charged constituents interact with nearly everything. But at lower temperatures they bind together to form an electrically neutral composite particle. Unlike a neutron, which is bound by the ordinary strong interaction of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the stealthy neutron would have to be bound by a new and yet-unobserved strong interaction, a dark form of QCD. …..

But there is something more than a little circular in the argument that “its interactions with gravity produce striking effects on the movement of galaxies and galactic clusters, leaving little doubt of its existence”.

This is just magical mumbo jumbo. (Not that there is anything wrong with the magical incantations of physicists which are just as valid as any magical incantation by a shaman or a High Priest).

Universetoday.com: Various universe evolution scenarios. A universe with too much density collapses in on itself, a critical density universe stays static, while a universe with not enough density keeps expanding at a steady (coasting) rate. However, today’s cosmology puts emphasis upon the cosmological constant, which gives an accelerating expansion. Does this mean that density is irrelevant? Credit: NASA.

The universe is accelerating instead of slowing down therefore “dark energy must exist”. Because objects moving very fast in some clusters of galaxies do not escape the clusters, it becomes necessary to invent magical “dark matter” exercising gravitational effects. The gravitation/speed anomaly is used to postulate that dark matter exists, but actually all it says is that gravitation theory alone is insufficient to explain the observations. We cannot detect dark matter so we generate theories for why it must be “phantom” or “stealthy” now. We infer it and its properties because the magic invoked to explain gravitation (relativity and spacetime) is not upto the task.

Note (diagram above) that all theories about the shape of the Universe have it surrounded by an infinite, unbounded, unknown, unknowable space of Deep, Dark Something. Let’s call it Magic.

Physics appears to come first in the hierarchy of Science. But Magic probably comes before Physics. Perhaps the most fundamental law of the Universe is actually the Conservation of Magic (and energy and mass and the curvature of spacetime are merely facets of Magic). Before the Big Bang there was first a critical accumulation of Magic which caused the Big Bang. And the quantity of magic gives the cosmological constant because of the Deep, Dark Magic underlying simple Magic …….

Physics/Magic posts:

  1.  The fundamentals of physics are just magic
  2. Magic is to physics as Heineken is to the human body
  3. Physics and cosmology are more magical than alchemy as dark energy goes phantom
  4. Gravitation could just as well be called “magical attraction”
  5. Dark energy and dark matter are just fudge factors for cosmic models that don’t work
  6. Physics came first and then came chemistry and later biology
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Dark energy and dark matter are just fudge factors for cosmic models that don’t work

September 1, 2015

A mathematical model of the physical world, which doesn’t work, can always be made to work by introducing a “fudge factor” which just compensates for the “error” displayed by the model results. The “error” is of course just the difference between real observations and the model results. The “fudge factors” thus introduced are then often used to project the model results into the future – but such forecasts are meaningless. The only valid conclusion is that the model is incorrect and needs to be changed,

These “fudge factors” can be given fancy names and imaginary properties such that they just remove all that cannot be explained. It does not make them real. And so it is with cosmic models and the invention of imaginary parameters with just those properties necessary to correct the error exhibited by the models.

In ancient times, new gods with new properties were invented to “explain” eclipses and earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Before oxygen was discovered, alchemists – on their way to becoming chemists – invented “phlogiston”. That was superseded by the “caloric theory” which soon became obsolete. “Aether” was invented as pervading space to provide a medium for the transmission of light and through which “action at a distance” could be explained (gravity, magnetism). “Space-time” is analogous to aether and was invented to match observations with the theory of relativity. In fact Einstein refers to “space-time” as a kind of aether.

The Steady State theory of cosmology considered an expanding universe but which was in a steady state, and had no beginning. That became obsolete when the Big Bang theory came along which put the Big Bang singularity 13.8 billion years ago and which provided the energy for the expanding universe. (Imagining 15 billion years ago is just as valid as imagining a time 13.8 billion years ago but the Big Bang theory is silent about what came before). But the expansion – since the energy all came at the time of the Big Bang – was expected to gradually slow down and come to a stop after which either a steady state would prevail or a compression (implosion) would occur. But recent observations indicate that the expansion of the universe is (apparently) accelerating. Clearly that is not possible if the energy is fixed. A new source of energy needed to be invented. It couldn’t be detected so better call it “dark energy”. The apparent mass of the Universe was much less than calculations indicated it should be. The solution was simple. Along came “dark matter”.

Wikipedia: …. dark energy is an unknown form of energy which is hypothesized to permeate all of space, tending to accelerate the expansion of the universe. ………. the best current measurements indicate that dark energy contributes 68.3% of the total energy in the observable universe; the mass-energy of dark matter and ordinary matter contribute 26.8% and 4.9%, respectively; and other components such as neutrinos and photons contribute a very small amount.

Dark matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen. ……. Dark matter neither emits nor absorbs light or any other electromagnetic radiation at any significant level.

Needless to say, “among cosmologists, dark matter is composed primarily of a not yet characterized type of subatomic particle”. Naturally.  The magnitude of the four fundamental forces of the universe (gravity, magnetism, weak force, strong force) are known but we still have no idea why or how they exist. We can just as well call them the four fundamental forces of Magic.

Dark energy and dark matter are not real. We might as well call them “magic energy” and “magic matter”. They are merely parameters invented and given just the right properties to fit the errors between observations and theory. Fudge factors. Nothing wrong with that of course. Theories, observed errors, fudge factors capable of removing errors and then the search to remove the necessity of the fudge factors is a powerful way of doing science. But making forecasts based on existing fudge factors without any idea of how the fudges need to change is invalid and – worse – is self-delusional.

(I observe that it is the “fudge factor” phenomenon which permeates what is called climate science. The real problem is that the “scientists” and their politicians believe the forecasts made with the “fudge factor” theories even though the error between model results and reality continues to increase.)

What energy shortage?

August 21, 2013

Energy Distribution of the Universe: Chandra

Most of the Universe is dark. The protons, neutrons and electrons that make up the stars, planets and us represent only a small fraction of the mass and energy of the Universe. The rest is dark and mysterious. X-rays can help reveal the secrets of this darkness. X-ray astrophysics is crucial to our understanding not only of the Universe we see, but the quest to determine the physics of everything.

  • Dark Energy

    At the close of the 20th century, our perception of the Universe was jolted. Instead of slowing down after the Big Bang, the expansion of the Universe was found to be accelerating. Was the cosmic acceleration due to Einstein’s cosmological constant, a mysterious form of “dark energy,” or perhaps a lack of understanding of gravity? The answer is still out there. By studying clusters of galaxies, X-ray astronomy is tackling this question using powerful techniques that are independent of other methods currently being employed or proposed for the future.

  • Dark Matter

    The next chunk of the Universe’s budget is another unknown: dark matter. Of all of the material we know about because we can see its gravitational effects, about 85% is composed of matter that emits no light and is radically different from material found in planets and stars. X-rays can be used to study the effects of dark matter in a variety of astronomical settings, and thus probe the nature of this mysterious substance that pervades the Universe.

 

The “luminiferous aether” has morphed to “dark matter” but we still don’t know why an apple falls…

August 12, 2012

A new paper claims to have found evidence of dark matter near the sun.

“We are 99% confident that there is dark matter near the Sun,” says the lead author Silvia Garbari. In fact, if anything, the authors’ favoured dark matter density is a little high: they find more dark matter than expected at 90% confidence. There is a 10% chance that this is merely a statistical fluke, but if future data confirms this high value the implications are exciting as Silvia explains: “This could be the first evidence for a “disc” of dark matter in our Galaxy, as recently predicted by theory and numerical simulations of galaxy formation, or it could mean that the dark matter halo of our galaxy is squashed, boosting the local dark matter density.”

But I cannot help thinking that “dark matter” and “dark energy” are no different  conceptually to the theories of phlogiston and luminiferous aether . They are plausible artefacts created to explain observations but are not themselves observable. I am not particularly convinced when

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