Saturday, 17 September 2011

Dark Matter - Secrets Revealed

Is this kiss and tell stuff? Nope this is science corner on a Saturday morning. 

You know, scientists are clever people for sure. I mean, without them we wouldn't have such things as the swanking computer I am writing on or the Wi-Fi waves I send to the thing in the wall that sticks it into a wire that sends it to the the web thing that means you can read this. Even though I managed to get a degree in Physics and Chemistry, I wouldn't have a clue how that all works. But it does.

However, I have long had a problem with the stuff that Stephen Hawking and all those boffins go on about. Dark matter and Dark Energy. You don't see much of it in Star Trek and they went a long way into space in the Enterprise. If Scottie, Kirk and the crew never referred to it then it's a fair bet that this stuff doesn't exist, in my book.

Plasma cores, conduits and tractor beams maybe, but not Dark Matter. I mean, I can get my head around the idea that only 4% of the Universe is actually made up of matter. You don't have to be a genius to work that out as we can clearly see there isn't much matter between us and the Moon or the Sun (except a haze of space debris and human urine from the Space Station) and those are big distances without matter in them. The fact that the Universe is still expanding is a conundrum as the theory goes that by now, some 13 billions years after Big Bang, the rate of expansion should have been slowing down at least as the gravitational effect of even that 4% of matter should have started to attract things to one another.

The simple fact that cosmologists couldn't explain this oddity lead to the invention of Dark matter and Dark Energy - so much so that weedy mathematicians got involved and even calculated that, even though you cannot see it, Dark matter constitutes 21% of the Universe. Now, I'm telling you, at the speed the Enterprise was travelling they would have definitely have struck some of it even it they couldn't see it.

The trouble with scientists is that they always have an answer for everything. So when you use simple logic like that they then say, 'Ah, but Dark Matter and Normal Matter don't interact together in the same way as Normal Matter does with itself.'

That's the sort of logic that gives science a bad name. I mean, if Dark Matter and its equivalent in energy is swirling out there, then there is at least five times more of it between us and the Moon than there is normal matter. You would think some of it bumping into each other or forming Black Holes and such like in its equivalent world would have manifested itself in some way by now? Even if all it was only making things appear slightly darker than it is.

So imagine my surprise when scientists, in the face of my logical arguments and calling people like me stupid, have now started to revise their theories. Evidence now shows that Dwarf Galaxies would form far more densely than they do if Dark Matter existed. 

If only they had asked me, I could have told them exactly that. I could have even have pointed them to Captain Kirk's Log and they would have found no mention either. In the face of overwhelming evidence therefore, boffins had built that dirty great big underground thing in order to prove their point and now it won't ever do so.

We now know, thanks to the film Angels & Demons, that anti-matter can be held in the magnetic field generated by the energy of two AA batteries. It really is such a waste of time and money, if it is that easy and experiments can be conducted at normal speeds and temperatures in the Vatican City, to have built the Large Hadron Collider at all.

Some day, just once, a scientist will ask me for my opinion while I sip my pint. I could tell him a thing or two, I can tell you. 

Dark Matter, my arse.

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