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Searching For Dark Matter From Deep Under an Italian Mountain

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the put-on-your-glasses dept.

Space 62

Zothecula writes "Like the Higgs Boson, dark matter is one of those things in the Universe that evidence points to, but is very difficult to pin down. A team of researchers is looking to verify the existence of this most elusive of ingredients that is thought to make up 23 percent of the Universe using powerful detectors buried deep in an Italian mountain. The DarkSide-50 project is an international collaboration between Italian, French, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and Chinese institutions, as well as 17 American universities. The project team spent last (Northern hemisphere) summer assembling the detector in a laboratory deep within the Gran Sasso mountain, which is accessed via an exit off a six-mile (9.6 km) long highway tunnel in Italy."

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62 comments

You will not hide from NSA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46054331)

So, they think by hiding under the mountain they can escape powerful USA regime?
How naive.

Re:You will not hide from NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46055703)

Apparently we can't have any discussions without some nitwit dragging the NSA into it.

It's 23! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46054337)

What percent of the universe does dark matter make up???

Re:It's 23! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46054391)

Tautology much?

Re:It's 23! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46054603)

much much?

Universe composition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46055349)

The total mass–energy of the known universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy.

23% (3, Funny)

JeremyWH (1354361) | about 3 months ago | (#46054345)

Did they mention it makes up 23% of the universe?

Re:23% (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 3 months ago | (#46054417)

Did they mention it makes up 23% of the universe?

Once or twice. Just in the summary though. Any more than that would just be showing off.

Re:23% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46054463)

No no no, that's not how it goes. Sarcasm. You can't do it right without the sarcasm.

You'd think that it'd be easier to detect dark matter, it being some 23% of the universe, because at 23% of the universe you should be able to point your telescope at a part of the sky, sum up the mass, and end up missing 23%. But even though dark matter is supposedly 23% of the universe, the 23% that is dark matter can't be found just anywhere, as the 23% of the universe made up with dark matter isn't evenly distributed. Instead, you have to find the 23% of the universe that consists of dark matter in particular places... which only works if that dark matter (which makes up 23% of the universe) can be detected simply by looking. Which it, despite being 23% of the universe, is not.

Re:23% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46054467)

And then make a quick reply because you forgot to mention the most astonishing part:

You'd think that it'd be easier to detect dark matter, it being some 23% of the universe, because at 23% of the universe you should be able to point your telescope at a part of the sky, sum up the mass, and end up missing 23%. But even though dark matter is supposedly 23% of the universe, the 23% that is dark matter can't be found just anywhere, as the 23% of the universe made up with dark matter isn't evenly distributed. Instead, you have to find the 23% of the universe that consists of dark matter in particular places... which only works if that dark matter (which makes up 23% of the universe) can be detected simply by looking. Which it, despite being 23% of the universe, is not.

What's even more remarkable is that dark matter is still nearly impossible to detect even though it's thought to make up about 23% of the universe!

Bring in the IRS... (0)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 2 months ago | (#46054509)

When the US and Italian police have problems with Mafia dons (all the evidence points to them, but it is very difficult to pin anything on them), the IRS has much more success in getting them on tax evasion.
Give the IRS something to do, and maybe enlist the NSA's help with tapping dark matter's communication channels so that the IRS can figure out where the dark matter is hiding!

Searching For Dark Matter From Deep Under an Itali (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46054519)

Searching For Dark Matter From Deep Under an Italian Mountain

they found a bunch of niggers working in a mine

Terrible summary (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46054533)

To be clear, dark matter is nothing like the Higgs-Boson. The Higgs was predicted to be within a specific energy range and to decay along a specific subset of paths. The LHC was designed to reach or exceed the energy range of the Higgs and to detect its decay once it appeared. The Higgs appeared within the range predicted, decayed like predicted, and everything is fine and right with the world of predicted and accepted particle physics so far as everyone is concerned.

Dark Matter on the other hand, is something which is not predicted by any theory we currently have. Its existence is only inferred by seemingly missing mass from galaxies and some astronimical observations that suggest this mass may be in the form of seemingly invisible matter that we have no currently confirmed way of detecting other than looking at the effect it seems to have on gravity. Heck we don't even know if it is matter to begin with, at least as we know it, but that' the closest thing we can infer other than it seems to be invisible and so the name "dark matter".

Candidates of what dark matter is have been suggested. Or rather, quite vague candidates have. The most popular is the "WIMP" or "Weakly Interacting Massive Particle" that may or may not interact via the weak force at all, may have an energy/mass equivelance of who knows, and should for your guess is as good as mine not interact at all with the electromagnetic force or the strong force. Except we've built detectors, more and more of them with higher sensitivity and so far the only thing that's come back are what seems to be statistical errors.

So, really they're pretty much the opposite. Dark Matter is largely a mystery who's properties are at best hoped to be like the physics we already know and understand, and the detector mentioned hopes that this hope is correct and that it will be. The other is a particle that was predicted decades ago, had an extremely solid theoretical understanding and backing, and who's detector was build largely with the expectation that it would turn up as predicted, which it did.

Re:Terrible summary (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#46054639)

I think you're being unfair to the submitter here; all they suggested was that the Higgs and dark matter alike have been difficult to tease out. That one's an issue of generating a large enough instrument to detect something we're very sure exists, and one's an issue of explaining the existence of something that we can see but not understand, is an excellent teaching point, and you've done a great job there.

Re:Terrible summary (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 months ago | (#46054711)

Well, as the late great 'astronomer' Douglas Adams said: The missing matter is the plastic peanut packaging material that the universe came in.

There are better explanations then WIMPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46055379)

This additional gravity known as Dark Matter might be due to our Universe having more then just 3 spatial dimensions. Matter is being present somewhere there which we cannot observe directly because it is not present in our 3D realm. This means that we observe just 3D crossections of the galaxies which are existing in more then 3 dimensions. This is a direct reason for galaxies having abnormal rotation curves. Sometimes the matter arrangement in neigbouring realms is assymetrical and this is why we observe phenomena where there appears to be gravitational field in place where there is no mass (like the Bullet Cluster). This asymetry cannot be explained by existence of WIMPS.

Re:There are better explanations then WIMPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46055691)

This asymetry cannot be explained by existence of WIMPS.

It can be explained just fine by a distribution in of the WIMPs that can come about from galaxy collisions and interactions. The bullet cluster is a difficulty for any theory that attributes to effects of dark matter to an unknown property of visible matter (e.g. many of the more basic gravity modification theories). But for any theory that attributes those effects to a different material or substance that can move around separately from visible matter in some situations, there is less of an obvious problem. Now making quantitative predictions of that situation with some of the crazier ideas on the other hand...

Re:Terrible summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46055537)

Dark Matter on the other hand, is something which is not predicted by any theory we currently have.

There are actually quite a few extensions to the Standard Model that make much more specific candidates for predictions of dark matter particles. Researchers working with those particular theories can than make a prediction, then run a search through data from experiments like this or other high energy observation experiments to see if there is specific support for that model (and not in the reverse order, the prediction has to be made before the limited data sets are used). These can include specific mass ranges and interaction or decay results, which are usually a lot narrower than just looking for "something new."

That said, there used to be a time where particle physics was driven by discovery of new particles with theories taking time to catch up, and a lot of particle physics then was just trying to find particles for which no predictions were made.

Re:Terrible summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46056825)

There is no dark matter. Our current theory of gravity is wrong.

Re:Terrible summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46057737)

There is no dark side of the matter. As a matter of fact, it's all dark. (thump-thump . . . thump-thump ... )

Re:Terrible summary (1)

dissy (172727) | about 2 months ago | (#46056949)

Dark Matter on the other hand, is something which is not predicted by any theory we currently have.

Before you are at all taken seriously, you have a ton of explaining to do then.

Since you claim General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and the laws of Thermodynamics are all not current theories we have, you must start by explaining what each one of those theories explains and then some

You have to explain why the Sun exists, since it can't with the amount of gravity we actually see.

You have to explain the cosmic microwave background image, and why it shows in multiple ways what you claim doesn't exist.
Why does the image indicate 25% barionic matter and 75% non-barionic if that isn't actually the case?
Why does the image show missing spectral lines for missing matter which you claim isn't missing because it doesn't exist?
Why are solar systems the shape we see them in if gravity works the way you claim?
Why are galaxies the shape we see them in if gravity works the way you claim?
Why are galactic clusters the shape we see them in if gravity works the way you claim?
How do you explain the galactic filaments since there isn't enough gravity for the universe to look the way it looks?

Once you create a theory to answer all of those, you'll finally be caught up to "now" and can then proceed to wow us with the additional predictions your theory makes that turn out to be the case.

Until then, the evidence is strongly against all of your claims.
You and the people who modded you up should be ashamed.

Re:Terrible summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46057181)

As someone who things dark matter is the best explanation we currently have for describing all the data we have, a few of the claims seem off or possibly remembered wrong:

You have to explain why the Sun exists, since it can't with the amount of gravity we actually see.

The Sun can exist just fine with the amount of gravity seen, and dark matter is not needed to explain its existence. Predictions related to dark matter theories on the solar system scale are really subtle, and mostly way below our ability to measure, the exceptions being typically involving more exotic theories.

Why does the image show missing spectral lines for missing matter which you claim isn't missing because it doesn't exist?

If you are talking about absorption/emission lines, then this wouldn't directly be due to dark matter which is supposed have little to no EM interaction. If you are talking about the angular power spectrum, which is closely related to dark matter, then it isn't about "lines" or missing parts, but does involve quantitative predictions of the peaks and troughs of that spectrum.

dark matters by c. bullow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46054617)

it's a semi-fiction whereas the lhc is converted into a major food kitchen. the energy from the good will generated may carry us out of our spiritual bankruptcy? free the innocent stem cells. no bomb us more mom us. light matters more...

Re:dark matters by c. bullow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46054623)

more mom

Suck harder, mom! My cock's so stiff!

"last (Northern hemisphere) summer"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46054657)

...how refreshing is that!

We finally come to accept on slashdot that country XY is not the center of the world; thumps up, let's see more of this coming!

Re: "last (Northern hemisphere) summer"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46057331)

Seems completely unnecessary to me in the context of the sentence. They spent the summer in Italy; of course it's the Northern Hemisphere summer.

From the severed horsehead's mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46054733)

Dear Americano,

There are plenty of dark matters in Italy, but you'll never find out, because of the Omerta!

Yours Sincerely:
Don Vito di Corleone

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (4, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 months ago | (#46054945)

Ah, Italia.
The country were seismologists are thrown in jail because the can't asses the risks of earthquakes,ships run aground on calm seas and neutrinos run faster than light. If they can't find dark matter in the darkness under its mountains, noone can.

On the other side, US is squeezing the last bit of the dark energy barrel (while it lasts)

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46055087)

The country were seismologists are thrown in jail because the can't asses the risks of earthquakes

False. They were thrown in jail for their false claims.

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (1)

foma84 (2079302) | about 2 months ago | (#46056011)

While I support your position, I won't mod you up, because you could have at least provided some detailed information and some links.

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46062591)

While I support your position, I won't mod you up

If you run around the block twice, you'll be my most athletic supporter.

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46055089)

Firstly, no seismologists have been "thrown in jail because the can't asses the risks of earthquake". I don't even want to repeat the actual reason why they were convicted (only in a first-degree trial). It has been said so many times that those who still don't know it must necessarily be trolls. Or, in alternative, american media don't have decent italian translators, but it's quite unlikely.

Secondly, far more american ships have sunk in the last 100 years than italian ones. That's statistics.

Thirdly, the relative majority of the LHC researchers involved in the experiments that discovered the Higgs' boson were Italians.

Finally, and here I answer to the GP, I don't really know if it's better to live in a country where there used to be powerful crime organizations (the "mafia" is only for movies now), or in one that is currently ruled by jewish and financial lobbies and where people don't care because they have been carefully brainwashed by 200 cable TV channels full of trashy shows.

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about 2 months ago | (#46056331)

Most of what you said is correct, but italy is run by bankers on side, and the mafia, camorra and n'drangheta on the other, with politicians tell you to ignore the guys in dark suits behind the curtain.

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46058031)

Before bad-mouthing Italy with some old stupid stereotypes on an american board, learn english first.

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46057869)

Secondly, far more american ships have sunk in the last 100 years than italian ones. That's statistics.

Yeah, but on all those american ships, the captain was the last one to abandon ship. And that's statistics too.

Re:From the severed horsehead's mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46057957)

Probably because american captains are very overweight, and that's also why sometimes their ships sink.

Location, location, location (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46055295)

The project team spent last (Northern hemisphere) summer assembling the detector in a laboratory deep within the Gran Sasso mountain, which is accessed via an exit off a six-mile (9.6 km) long highway tunnel in Italy."

So I'm assuming they have sharks with frickin' lasers to handle security...

Searching for WIMPs, not DM (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 months ago | (#46055707)

To be accurate, the search in Gran Sasso is a search for WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles), which are one microphysical explanation for dark matter. I personally do not like the common conflation of dark matter (for which there is abundant evidence) with WIMPs (for which there is no evidence at all).

A lot of the interest in WIMPs comes from particle physics, due to the "WIMP miracle" [uci.edu] (that hypothetical particles at the electro-weak scale, i.e., ~ 100 GeV, apparently have the right mass to explain dark matter) and the hypothesized connection between WIMPs and supersymmetry [fnal.gov] (i.e., that the WIMP could be a supersymmetric neutralino [wikipedia.org] ). After much experimental work, the WIMP miracle is almost dead experimentally, and the supposed connection to supersymmetry is not doing so well [arxiv.org] either.

However (not that you would know from reading most articles on the subject), there are a number of other viable theories for dark matter [scientificamerican.com] . These include axions [fnal.gov] , primordial black holes (maybe [lanl.gov] ), and macroscopic quark nuggets [arxiv.org] , which would have important practical implications [nextbigfuture.com] should they be detected.

Re:Searching for WIMPs, not DM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46065365)

Er, \Lambda_CDM is the consensus cosmology these days, as it fits well with so much observational data, and predicted to an exquisite degree the anisotropies in the CMB as confirmed by everything from COBE & BOOMERANG to the latest WMAP data.

CDM here is Cold Dark Matter, which of course need not just be WIMPs, but it was always a stretch to consider non-WIMP solutions, and MACHOs are effectively ruled out and axions have yet to appear in QCD experiments. Although pretty much all \LCDM cosmologists are gauge theorists, that does not mean that they necessarily ever supported SUSY; being general relativists as well makes it pretty easy to adapt to pretty much arbitrary mechanisms that generate the metric, and sky observations suggest what those mechanisms are likely to be, constrained by what is already proven in SM/BTSM physics. It's not that WIMPs came from particle physics, it's that literally they must not interact electromagnetically at all, they must not feel the strong nuclear force, they must be essentially collisionless, they must not clump significantly (distributions are gaslike and stay that way all the way down to where a "cusp" could be), they must be individually massive, and they must move mostly thermally, or there would be easily-observed sky artifacts. Those restrictions sure seems like a good fit for some sort of heavy neutrino, and hey if SUSY's (well, say MSSM's) neutralinos might fit (they don't totally) why oppose searches for them in labs motivated by particle theories? Especially if the searches narrow the particle space in which various other WIMP candidates might hide.

However, in \LCDM there is nothing precluding a DM sector with arbitrary numbers of interacting fields; there could even be a whole "dark chemistry", with DM analogues of molecular clouds. We are nowhere near the point of being able to see such things even in principle (the best approach might be gravitational astronomy, with further work on submicrolensing) but they are not precluded by theory or observation. Indeed, a complex sector is easy to think about -- even though it is hugely unparsimonious -- because it might explain some of the attractive fits of MACHO models to observation, excluding only the "Compact" part.

Not finding specific sparticles does not hurt WIMP really; finding nothing but SM up to TeV models would be *fun* because one obvious theroretical avenue to explore would be whether all physical fields are quantized, where right now the expectation is that gravitation somehow quantizes just like all other known physical fields.

Re:Searching for WIMPs, not DM (1)

mbone (558574) | about 3 months ago | (#46067991)

Er, \Lambda_CDM is the consensus cosmology these days, as it fits well with so much observational data, and predicted to an exquisite degree the anisotropies in the CMB as confirmed by everything from COBE & BOOMERANG to the latest WMAP data.

True, but all that means is that any DM theory must be consistent with Lambda CDM (which is true for all the ones I mentioned, at least for a suitable choice of prameters). Note that there is still the "core-cusp" problem, which it now doesn't look like _Warm_ Dark Matter can solve, and thus remains a problem for all of these theoretical choices. (Macroscopic DM can act as WDM for suitable choices of mass and density.)

CDM here is Cold Dark Matter, which of course need not just be WIMPs, but it was always a stretch to consider non-WIMP solutions, and MACHOs are effectively ruled out and axions have yet to appear in QCD experiments.

MACHOs are not ruled out for masses less than that of the Moon (although there are interesting new limits for some lower masses from femtolensing - see
here [vixra.org] for a more fine grained description of mass spectrum constraints for dense macroscopic DM).

As for axions, it seems strange to bring up that evidence for them has "yet to appear in QCD experiments," when of course evidence for WIMPs also
has "yet to appear in QCD experiments." (There are of course also direct searches for both WIMPs, such as at Gran Sasso, and for axions, such as with the CERN helioscope, but in both cases these are also negative at present.)

Although pretty much all \LCDM cosmologists are gauge theorists,

Let's just say that, coming at this from an astronomical perspective, very few of the cosmologists I have known personally are particle physicists, and of course the Lambda part of Lambda CDM was forced upon us by astronomical observers. (I can, FWIW, remember going to cosmological talks in the 1980's where particle physicists confidently explained that the apparently large vacuum field energy in quantum field theories meant that the cosmological constant just had to be zero.)

that does not mean that they necessarily ever supported SUSY; being general relativists as well makes it pretty easy to adapt to pretty much arbitrary mechanisms that generate the metric, and sky observations suggest what those mechanisms are likely to be, constrained by what is already proven in SM/BTSM physics.

I don't think that anything has been experimentally proven in beyond standard model physics (except that neutrinos have mass).

It's not that WIMPs came from particle physics, it's that literally they must not interact electromagnetically at all, they must not feel the strong nuclear force, they must be essentially collisionless, they must not clump significantly (distributions are gaslike and stay that way all the way down to where a "cusp" could be), they must be individually massive, and they must move mostly thermally, or there would be easily-observed sky artifacts.

Limits on DM only limits on the Cross Section / Mass ratio. As Ariel Zhitnitsky is fond of pointing out, if the mass is small, the cross section has to be tiny, but if the mass is macroscopic, the cross section can be fairly large.

Those restrictions sure seems like a good fit for some sort of heavy neutrino, and hey if SUSY's (well, say MSSM's) neutralinos might fit (they don't totally) why oppose searches for them in labs motivated by particle theories?

I certainly do not oppose such searches.

Especially if the searches narrow the particle space in which various other WIMP candidates might hide.

However, in \LCDM there is nothing precluding a DM sector with arbitrary numbers of interacting fields; there could even be a whole "dark chemistry", with DM analogues of molecular clouds. We are nowhere near the point of being able to see such things even in principle (the best approach might be gravitational astronomy, with further work on submicrolensing) but they are not precluded by theory or observation. Indeed, a complex sector is easy to think about -- even though it is hugely unparsimonious -- because it might explain some of the attractive fits of MACHO models to observation, excluding only the "Compact" part.

The "Bullet Cluster" shows very clearly that gas and DM can become separated during the history of the universe. Now, in this case, the stars apparently are moving with the DM, but if such events happened before star formation, the DM would form pure DM structures. I regard the Bullet Cluster and similar events as existence proofs for DM structure, and I think that this area of research has hardly been touched. Consider, for example, the merger (absorption) of a dwarf galaxy with the Milky Way, as apparently has happened many times in the past. It is thought that the incoming stars, gas and DM are mostly fed into the disk. Suppose there is turbulence during this event (for the gas this would be supersonic turbulence due to the velocities involved). Will the gas and DM respond similarly to (say) turbulent shocks? I don't see how they can, and so they will separate. This might be a way to generate your DM "non-molecular clouds," and maybe a wide variety of other structures, without appealing to any additional fields (or, for that matter, to any particular DM theory at all).

There has been interesting work on dark structure with axions, which are thought to possibly form Bose condensates [arxiv.org] and respond coherently [cornell.edu] over galactic distances [arxiv.org] . In this case, observations of dark structure could indeed help to distinguish between theories.

Not finding specific sparticles does not hurt WIMP really; finding nothing but SM up to TeV models would be *fun* because one obvious theroretical avenue to explore would be whether all physical fields are quantized, where right now the expectation is that gravitation somehow quantizes just like all other known physical fields.

What it will hurt, and I suspect fairly soon, is the field's ability to raise funds for more such searches. I think of this as a lot like the search for proton decay in SU(5) GUT's, or attempts to determine the Brans-Dicke coupling constant omega in solar system relativity tests. Both theories are still viable today, but attention has waned as early expectations for confirmation were not realized.

Mussolini (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46056117)

Is this the same Gran Sasso mountain from where Benito Mussolini was rescued by Otto Skorzeny?

Re:Mussolini (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46057321)

Yes it is.

Re:Mussolini (1)

mbone (558574) | about 3 months ago | (#46066227)

Mussolini was on top of the massif, these detectors are deep inside the mountain (in a tunnel bored off of the 10-km A24 Autostrada tunnel underneath the mountain, which makes driving equipment in very convenient).

More like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46056243)

... Luminiferous aether than the Higgs Boson, but that's a minor nitpick.

Sooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46056707)

... How many Polish scientists DOES it take?

That's Not Dark Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46057269)

That's an old latrine.

Ether (1)

DERoss (1919496) | about 2 months ago | (#46057393)

The more I read about dark matter and dark energy pervading the universe, the more I think about ether (also spelled "aether" or "æther"), which also was supposed to fill the universe. Dark matter and dark energy will never be found because they are as real as ether. See the Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46058429)

I think ether of some kind will eventually be theorized again as real. By that I mean that the interactions between every object in the universe (like gravity or magnetism) are actually proof that we are only seeing the observable parts of that object, and that the unobservable parts of that object are spread out until they are touching, causing the interactions we observe.

The best analogy I can come up with is that of ripples in a pond, if the observer could only see the ripples, and not the still water it's composed of.

Re:Ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46058513)

Another analogy might be of islands in the ocean; if you couldn't see the ocean floor you might think they are separate and free floating, Underneath they are part of one submerged landmass that interact via both the ocean and continental drift. The ocean and the submerged continent could be considered either ether OR dark matter, or both.

Re:Ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46058531)

There are several direct observations of dark matter including the bullet cluster and several "dark matter galaxies".

Aside from some of the qualitative descriptions of a handful of the hypoltesis about what might makeup dark matter sounding similar to laypeople, dark matter has nothing to do with the lumiferous ether (discredited part of Newtonian mechanics).

Re:Ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46061049)

If you want to define an ether as something that permeates and fills space, both modern physics, and parts of classical physics that is still current, are full of ethers. If you want to use "ether" as often used by physicists to refer to a specific set of historical theories about finding a medium and reference frame for light to travel in, then dark matter and dark energy seem to have no connection to that.

My Theory for Dark Matter and Sub-Atomic Quanta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46058195)

My theory is that dark matter is actually just normal matter trapped in universes that overlay our own and whose forces, like gravity, interact with our own. My feeling is that quantum effects of sub-atomic particles that require extra dimensions in quantum mechanics are actually caused by interactions with these overlapping universes because they occupy these other universes to various extents simultaneously. I have no evidence, as I am not a physicist or an astronomer; it's just a hunch.

What do you guys think?

Re:My Theory for Dark Matter and Sub-Atomic Quanta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46058229)

I didn't see anywhere to provide identifying information; my name is Thomas and my e-mail is zzupdown@gmail.com.

Re:My Theory for Dark Matter and Sub-Atomic Quanta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46058605)

Read up on brane theory to see some attempts to pursue similar ideas quantitatively.

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"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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