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.