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On the dark matter puzzle
Posted on Monday, May 06, 2019 @ 17:12:54 GMT by vlad

Science Anonymous writes: Via ScientificAmerican.com: Cosmology Has Some Big Problems /By Bjørn Ekeberg on April 30, 2019
The field relies on a conceptual framework that has trouble accounting for new observations

Credit: Thanapol Sisrang Getty Images

What do we really know about our universe?

Born out of a cosmic explosion 13.8 billion years ago, the universe rapidly inflated and then cooled, it is still expanding at an increasing rate and mostly made up of unknown dark matter and dark energy ... right?



This well-known story is usually taken as a self-evident scientific fact, despite the relative lack of empirical evidence—and despite a steady crop of discrepancies arising with observations of the distant universe.Advertisement

In recent months, new measurements of the Hubble constant, the rate of universal expansion, suggested major differences between two independent methods of calculation. Discrepancies on the expansion rate have huge implications not simply for calculation but for the validity of cosmology's current standard model at the extreme scales of the cosmos.

Another recent probe found galaxies inconsistent with the theory of dark matter, which posits this hypothetical substance to be everywhere. But according to the latest measurements, it is not, suggesting the theory needs to be reexamined.

It's perhaps worth stopping to ask why astrophysicists hypothesize dark matter to be everywhere in the universe? The answer lies in a peculiar feature of cosmological physics that is not often remarked. For a crucial function of theories such as dark matter, dark energy and inflation, which each in its own way is tied to the big bang paradigm, is not to describe known empirical phenomena but rather to maintain the mathematical coherence of the framework itself while accounting for discrepant observations. Fundamentally, they are names for something that must exist insofar as the framework is assumed to be universally valid.

Each new discrepancy between observation and theory can of course in and of itself be considered an exciting promise of more research, a progressive refinement toward the truth. But when it adds up, it could also suggest a more confounding problem that is not resolved by tweaking parameters or adding new variables.

Consider the context of the problem and its history. As a mathematically driven science, cosmological physics is usually thought to be extremely precise. But the cosmos is unlike any scientific subject matter on earth. A theory of the entire universe, based on our own tiny neighborhood as the only known sample of it, requires a lot of simplifying assumptions. When these assumptions are multiplied and stretched across vast distances, the potential for error increases, and this is further compounded by our very limited means of testing.


Full article: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/cosmology-has-some-big-problems/


 
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"On the dark matter puzzle" | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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Re: On the dark matter puzzle (Score: 1)
by vlad on Monday, May 06, 2019 @ 21:07:08 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
Via Physics.aps.org: Viewpoint: Dark Energy Faces Multiple Probes

Nikhil Padmanabhan, Department of Physics and Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA/ May 1, 2019• Physics 12, 48

The Dark Energy Survey has combined its analysis of four cosmological observables to constrain the properties of dark energy—paving the way for cosmological surveys that will run in the next decade.

One of the top goals in cosmology today is understanding the dark energy that is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the Universe. Is the dark energy consistent with the cosmological constant of general relativity—representing a constant energy density filling space homogenously? Or can we find deviations from general relativity on cosmological scales that suggest a more complex nature for gravity? Questions like these motivate the current and next generations of surveys that aim to map out ever larger volumes of the Universe, using a wide variety of probes to constrain the properties of dark energy. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) has now derived such constraints from the combined analysis of four canonical observables related to dark energy: supernovae, baryon acoustic oscillations, gravitational lensing, and galaxy clustering [1]. The resulting bounds confirm what we knew from previous studies, which focused on single probes. But the results indicate that this multiprobe approach could allow surveys in the 2020s to improve such constraints by orders of magnitude, possibly bringing us close to solving the dark energy puzzle...




Re: On the dark matter puzzle (Score: 1)
by vlad on Sunday, September 01, 2019 @ 13:42:36 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com
Dark matter and dark energy may really be one "dark fluid" with negative mass

The Standard Model of particle physics is currently our best understanding of how the universe works – but it only describes about five percent of everything in it. The rest is made up of what we call dark matter and dark energy, which are so far only known through their gravitational interactions with regular matter. Now, an astrophysicist from Oxford has put forward a new theory that suggests that dark matter and dark energy are actually part of the same phenomenon: a "dark fluid" with negative mass that fills the universe...


and two more recent interesting stories on the topic:





 

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