Thursday, December 16, 2010
The search for dark matter is likely to go on for another 77 years, because without it the Big Bang would become the Bankrupt Bang. Bigger and better detectors will be begged for and built. Until then, it is probable that dark matter will only fill the minds of physicists!
"Nerds at work"
That's the logo on T-shirts sold at the visitor center in Lead, South Dakota. A team of physicists and former miners is converting the Homestake gold mine in Lead to become the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, or DUSEL. It will become the world's deepest underground laboratory, to be used in search for Dark Matter. The centerpiece is the LUX, or Large Underground Xenon detector, with 1.6 octillion (billion billion billion) xenon atoms. This according to the January 2011 issue of Popular Science.
"No one knows what dark matter is, or if it even really exists. For now, it is just a placeholder, an x that must be plugged into various calculations in order to square astronomical observations with the rules of Newtonian physics. The name comes from Fritz Zwicky, a Swiss astronomer who in 1933 used two well-established methods to calculate the mass of the Coma cluster, a group of more than 1,000 galaxies. The Coma galaxies were spinning much faster than would be predicted by the amount of overall light emitted. For the Newtonian equation to add up, there had to be more mass. Zwicky dubbed this missing bulk dark matter.
Searching for WIMPs
"Today, most (but by no means all) physicists agree that dark matter exists, and that it is probably made up of what they call WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles. "Massive" doesn't mean that the particles are large, but that they have mass and therefore both respond to and cause gravitational pull. "Weakly interacting" means that the particles, despite having mass, nonetheless only rarely interact with matter. Scientists also assume that WIMPs are electromagnetically neutral, which is why we can't see them.
Dark Matter supposedly makes up 90% of the universe, but for the last 77 years, it has only been detected in the minds of physicists. Physicists Tom Shutt and Dan Akerib of the LUX team theorize that about three or four dark matter particles per year will interact with the xenon in their detector.
More Nerds searching for WIMPs
"The LUX team's competitors, though in some cases further ahead in their projects, are also working through their own problems. One project, the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search II, is located in an old iron mine in Minnesota. The physicists there made headlines in December 2009 when they thought they had detected two WIMP signals. Both turned out to be false alarms, but they intend to try again with a bigger detector called SuperCDMS. Another frontrunner, Xenon 100, hidden under the Gran Sasso mountain in central Italy, is already operational. It uses a technology similar to LUX, but its detector tank is much smaller. Thus far, it has detected nothing.
Nerds are stuck on the letter B
"The LAX lab is just the first stage in the larger DUSAL project, which is expected to receive more than $875 million from the federal government and has already pulled in another $47.3 from the state of South Dakota and $70 million from private donors. The project's annual operating budget is $23 million."
But it would be no surpirse if the search for dark matter went on for another 77 years, because without it the Big Bang would become the Bankrupt Bang. Bigger and better detectors will be begged for and built. Until then, dark matter will continue to fill the mind of most physicists!
MOND is a cheaper alternative to Dark Matter
In their book Dismantling the Big Bang, Alex Williams and John Hartnett explain that some physicists with lighter minds do not believe in WIMPs or any sort of dark matter. Their alternative theory is called MOND (Modified Newtonian Dynamics).
"It proposes that the acceleration due to gravity in the inner reaches of a galaxy is above a threshold value, so gravity behaves normally and falls off with distance according to the inverse square law. But in the outer reaches of a galaxy it drops below the threshold value, and so the effect of gravity falls away as an inverse linear function of distance. As a result, the force of gravity remains unexpectedly strong in the outer arms of the galaxy and thus holds it all together. No one knows why the MOND theory works for spiral, elliptical, dwarf, and large galaxies, galaxy clusters, superclusters, molecular clouds and globular star clusters. There is, as yet, no theoretical explanation for either the threshold or the change in gravitational behaviors.
"Light intensity also propagates according to the inverse square law. If gravity fails to obey the inverse square law at galactic distances, then perhaps light does also. This would have an enormous impact on cosmology and the Big Bang theory."
Mature Creation and Anisoptropic Synchrony
An even stronger alternative offered by some Creation Scientists is Mature Creation. Jason Lisle explains, that "It has been suggested that God supernaturally created the beams of light themselves. That is, the light beam from every star to earth is created “in transit” at the same time the stars are created."
In his article titled Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem, Lisle demostrates with some amazing relativistic equations that "starlight from the most distant galaxy can reach earth on the fourth day of the Creation Week when the correct relativistic synchrony convention is employed".
If "any spiral galaxy were more than 1 billion years old, its spiral structure should be so tightly wound that it would no longer be discernable. Yet this is not what we find. Spiral structure is easily visible in most face-on galaxies, indicating the youth of these galaxies regardless of their distance from the solar system."
Further research needs to be done on Anisotropic synchrony as a replacement for Dark matter. I suspect that such research is likely to cost less than $875 million of taxpayer dollars.
The missing matter that remains missing is another evidence that Big Bang is not the mother of all matter and energy. Instead, we have a Father God, creator of heaven and earth, whose wonderful universe cannot be fathomed without signs of Him everywhere, even in the spinning of galaxies.
Borel, Brooke. 2011. Mining for Dark Matter. Popular Science, January 2011:42ff.
Lisle, Jason. 2010. Anisotropic Synchrony Convention—A Solution to the Distant Starlight Problem, Answers Research Journal 3 (2010): 191-207.Modified Newtonian dynamics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics, accessed 12/16/2010
Williams, Alex, John Hartnett. 2005. Dismantling the Big Bang. Master Books, Green Forest, Arizona, USA, 138-139.