December 19, 2015 | David F. Coppedge

Dark Matter Is Lost in Space

Astronomers are spending millions on their biggest gamble yet: looking for something that may not exist.

Are physicists, astronomers and cosmologists hunting for ghosts?  The lure of being first to discover something big is prompting countries around the globe to spend millions of dollars on expensive detectors deep underground, at the poles, or in space — for what? Particles they can’t describe, have never been detected, and may not even exist. The stakes are high: whoever finds dark matter will gain international prestige. If everyone loses, it will have been an expensive snipe hunt with nothing to show for it. Even worse, cosmologists will have to revise their fundamental theories in major ways.

New results from world’s most sensitive dark matter detector (PhysOrg): The results are in from the most sensitive dark-matter detector to date: the LUX (Large Underground Xenon) Detector in the Black Hills of South Dakota. And the answer is: nothing.

ESA’s Euclid dark universe mission ready to take shape (PhysOrg): A space-based detector is being built by the European Space Agency, set for launch in 2020. Its method will be to monitor shapes, positions and movements of two million galaxies over time.

Monkey King: China’s dark-matter satellite launches era of space science (Nature): China beat the Europeans by launching Wukong (“Monkey King”), a dark matter orbiting observatory. The Chinese think dark matter will be detected by high-energy cosmic rays, but the Europeans aren’t so sure: “We don’t know if this is a better way to search for dark matter, because dark matter has not yet been found.” Science Magazine explains that the search is based on WIMP theory (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). If they exist and annihilate, they should give off characteristic rays.

MACHOs or WIMPs? (PhysOrg): This article lists the five leading candidates for dark matter, including MACHOs (Massive Compact Halo Objects) and the aforesaid WIMPs. May the strongest survive! Other candidates are axions, Kaluza-Klein particles, or gravitinos. Nobody knows what any of these are.

XXL hunt for galaxy clusters: Observations from ESO telescopes provide crucial third dimension in probe of Universe’s dark side (Science Daily): Over 100 astronomers are on a hunt for X-rays from large clusters of galaxies. They think the clusters are influenced by the “Universe’s notoriously strange components — dark matter and dark energy.

Did ‘dark matter’ or a star called Nemesis kill the dinosaurs? (The Conversation): This article gives you two occult phenomena for the price of one: destroyers in the form of dark matter or in a hidden star or planet for which there is no evidence. Konstantinos Dimopoulos keeps both options alive while admitting throughout his article there is no evidence for either of them.

If they don’t find this dark stuff soon, there’s going to be hell to pay. Someone should count up the millions of dollars spent so far and tell Senator Jeff Flake to promote it to #1 spot in his Wastebook and get it into the talk radio circuit. If they find it, good; we will learn something. But how much time do you give them to look? Till after we’re all dead? What, then, if future astronomers determine it never existed? That would be scandalous! We can’t throw tax dollars down a dark hole forever. Those who are paying should get the results in a reasonable time, or call it off. If astronomers want to continue looking after an agreed-on deadline, let them raise their own money on GoFundMe or something, or find a Russian millionaire willing to throw his own money at it, like the guy did for SETI (7/22/15). But this endless quest for mystical occult stuff is not the taxpayers’ responsibility.

Comments

  • lux113 says:

    Great article! And the beauty of it all is encapsulated once again in a quote from it:

    “We don’t know if this is a better way to search for dark matter, because dark matter has not yet been found.”

    They are building machines to look for something that not only may not exist, but if it did exist – they have no idea what it is.. and no idea where they should be looking! They would actually have a BETTER chance looking for unicorns, we at least have some idea where they might be found.

    Let’s look at so called “dark matter” subjectively. Scientists made some equations, they liked the equations – because MOST of the answers they gave worked… except for one issue – it implied that 85% of the matter in the universe was MISSING.

    It vanished. But surely it must be there… so the matter is clearly just invisible and.. well, matterless. I mean, one thing I’ve come to know about matter is, well, it has substance, since that’s just a synonym for matter. It’s basically the defining nature of the stuff.

    What kind of fool’s errand is this? They are looking for substance-less substance – stuffless stuff. It must be there, cause otherwise.. they would be wrong, and that’s just not possible.

  • Buho says:

    Right on, Lux! Dark Matter is nothing but a constant in an equation someone made to make cosmology work in the billions-of-years timeframe, nothing more.

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