The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

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The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby The Gunslinger » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:40 am

Hey you astronomy & quantum gurus... I've always postulated that the missing matter that scientists can't account for in the universe, could possibly come from the countless photons, x-rays, gamma rays, extremely thin gases, etc. that's constantly scattered throughout the universe. It's truely mind boggling to even try to think of the quantity of various light waves that are constantly zipping in every direction since the dawn of space-time. Any of these rays are argueable weightless, but they do have the most miniscule bit of mass to them. So tiny that it's "effectively", but not practically, weightless.

Has any scientist ever come up with this idea, or try to quantify the mass of all these rays & thin gases. It's sort of like trying to imagine the effect of one's breath on the rotation of Earth, but not being able to imagine the immensity of the universe, these little pricks add up. They have to. :D

Anyone have any input
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby The Gunslinger » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:46 am

Mind you, I've heard a few explanations about where this Dark Matter is, or what it's made up of. I'm pretty sure scientists have taken into account the average amount of black holes throughout the universe, as they're difficult to detect.

Another idea could be that there are A LOT more black holes out there, or even naked singularities, that scientists imagine. They're effectively invisible unless we see the effects of matter around them.

Does Hawking believe that singularities can be "naked", or without any (or barely any) matter that got sucked onto it? I guess it's possible
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby elrodogg » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:08 am

Stephen Hawking (the renowned astrophysicist and genuis) definately covers everything you bring up in his books. You'll probably disagree with him (not you personally, but other scientists), but the possibility that you disagree with him is also covered in his book.

It's all in a language that most people with a minimal science background can read (though there are parts that I struggled with like imaginary time). Oh yes, there really is something called imaginary time, just like there is something called imaginary numbers (as compared to real numbers).

Really man, quit screwing around on the internet and read the actual book. Why ask dictionary.com when you can ask an astrophysicist? Don't look to the generic for information on the specific. Look to the expert who admits what they do not know.

If that doesn't help you satisfy your edumicational needs, then take a physics and/or astronomy class at community college.
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby Emperors Reckoning » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:17 am

I also highly recommend the books by Richard Feynman. Very readable. And the book that started my informal education in physics is The Dancing Wu Li Masters, by Zukav, (or maybe Zhukov).
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby elrodogg » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:19 am

Nice! Can I borrow that book sometime?
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby Emperors Reckoning » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:26 am

I'll see if I can find it. It will be in a box...somewhere.
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby elrodogg » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:35 am

Sweet. No rush at all. But..... if it happens to pop up by next tuesday, fantastic. :D
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby savaughn » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:51 am

>>I've always postulated that the missing matter that scientists can't account for in the universe

I get worried about statements like this. You have the wrong definition for dark matter. Dark matter is stuff that we know is there because we can see the effect it's having (say, gravitically) but that we aren't getting any direct or reflected radiation from. This isn't stuff that's "missing" ... unless you're writing a bad sci fi movie... :p

>>Has any scientist ever come up with this idea

Yes. And many many people have attempted to quantify the amount of ambient mass present in the universe to different effects. Actually, if you're curious about dark matter, read up on dark energy. That's a kind of fascinating parallel concept.

On Feynman - are you recommending his anecdote books or his lectures on physics compilations? The compiled lectures on physics series can get quite complex. Obviously the newtonian stuff is really accessible but his later stuff where he picks up quantum or relativistic physics get to the point where you need a chalkboard to keep up.
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby -The Fabulous Orcboy » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:38 am

At the very least, even if you're unwilling to actually buy and read a specialized book, and would rather get your info online, you should read the Wikipedia entry:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

Wiki's has only about 90-95% accuracy, but it tends to be pretty good with very basic definitions and descriptions like this
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Re: The missing matter of the universe: Dark Matter...

Postby Bauhaus » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:58 am

Worked on A Brief History of Time by Errol Morris. Met Mr. H. and many other scientists while doing the movie. Spent about a year at Harvard/Cambridge/Boston talking with some of the smartist guys in astronomy/physics/math.

The amount of matter in the universe will effect the expansion and possible contraction of the universe.

Some assume that 90% of the matter in the universe must be dark for the universe to have equalibrium (and stop expanding.)

If there's enough matter to stop the expansion than it must be "dark" i.e., not visible or detectable by radiation (heat.)

If there's not enough matter than the universe will continue to expand.

Some of the stranger ideas surrounding dark matter have been iron slivers floating around between the stars, massive and/or numerous black holes, and "the Great Attractor". Some or all are in the process of being "detected" or proven.

I seem to recall that most recently it was felt that the universe will continue to expand. That "dark matter" doesn't account for enough mass. The universe will continue to expand, and cool, untill there's nothing left but widely spaced black holes. Not as exciting as cyclical universe but it will still take 100's of billions of years....
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