Very much of the moment, Dark Matter and Dark Energy are subjects over which the scientific community is busily scratching its head, musing over whether the Standard Model (the neat package of particle interactions they've put together) is about to be sorely tested or whether it will hold fast against the new wave of physics Dark threatens to induce. Here is an article explaining the current situation;
The conclusion this article reaches is significant in many respects. Not only do Dark Materials beg questions of cosy cosmological constraints, they also herald a new era in the way we think about our Universe, and the relationship we have with the cosmos at large.
There once was a neutrino: Tau lived and loved his name.
A lepton of determination - none would be the same
He'd morphed, you see, two or three times he could recall....
and learned within his multi-lives, one cannot have it all
"Yet I will find my way through Earth," he found himself now singing
"As from my Father Sol the Sun I come a-bravely winging!"
Overheard by Muon tracking gamely at his side, who said
"I've heard on Earth, with horrid things you're likely to collide!"
"Not me," said Tau, "for I have found that thought overrides matter
and I will fight my way through life where other forms may scatter!"
While Muon foresaw doom ahead he had no eyes to see, so
he hit a bath of Argon hard somewhere in Italy.
Tau ploughed on regardless giving just a little sigh.
"If only all the others could see life and love as I."
The nanoseconds passed, as Tau deliberated fate
cruising unaccompanied through Earth's tectonic plates.
Just as his thoughts were yielding to a greater scheme than "I"
his path was intersected by the brightest meson, Pi.
Pi was most insistent. "You have not learned enough.
My great-great Uncle Pi took Fibonacci by the scruff,
and taught him in a thousand dreams what many dare not mention;
That mathematics lies behind life's every insurrection".
"All very well," said Tau, bemused. "But love is no equation.
And I will not be governed by symmetric limitation".
"Have it your way," sneered Pi, "but you can mark my words.
One day every mind will know what great laws are incurred."
Well, Tau continued through the crust and sensed a change ahead
He thought to oscillate, then thought, "I'll influence instead!
I know that there is more to life than changing with the seasons.
There has to be a purpose here. There has to be a reason."
A child lay in a garden, on softly yielding grass...
her mother wept beside her as the minutes slowly passed...
for her little girl had asked that she be shown the sun again
before Heaven took her little life and took away the pain.
Tau felt the impact suddenly, as a board gives to a dart.
He gave his living energy there in the child's heart.
As he died, he realised that what he'd thought was true;
though he could not pass the truth on, he could only hold the view.
The little girl opened her eyes and whispered, "Hello, Mummy.
Somewhere out there I just know that someone died for me."
The photons in her body were rejuvenated now.
They took a surge of strength in life thanks to the path of Tau,
and though she'd never know it, she still holds to the vision
that all is for a reason, though it's not a loud admission;
Now she's an astrophysicist, who can hardly be expected
to go round voicing dear beliefs in childhood elected.
Although she thinks, in solitude, the world around is nuts -
While science holds itself apart, so many doors it shuts.
I've just returned from two Cosmology conferences in Durham, where scientific collectives boldly went in search of the parameters for Dark Materials and presented a wide-ranging host of ideas as to what Dark energy and matter might be.
A common reference point throughout all the talks, Constraints and Constants are things known and lovingly adopted by science for many decades. Planck's Constant and the scales of measurement attributed to Max Planck's absolutions are gospel to quantum deliberators. While such absolutes are very useful, one may be forgiven for suggesting that their use in attempting to establish the identity of stuff which can't be seen, or captured by experiment, could be a bit limited.
There are many theories out there, jostling for position in the Dark Matter hunt. One possibility is that the Photon can oscillate into a 'hidden' version of itself, becoming Dark instead of Light. I rather like this idea, it's simple and free from complication. Other contenders include sterile neutrinos, axions, WIMPs, and a couple of wild baryons. A full account of the conferences will be available later.
Dark Matter may prove to be a turning point in our understanding of reality, and the nature of the universe. We are part of the universe, not merely observers of it. Whatever Dark Matter is found to comprise of, the current assumption that it has nothing to do with us directly is likely to be proven very, very wrong.
the nature of our Universe there are still many rivers to cross.
1) The Universe is Flat
2) Light Speed is the Limit
3) We Exist in 4 Dimensions
4) Time is an Arrow
5) Uncertainty is Specific
6) Dark Matter is not in Humans
7) Truth is Bound by Information
8) Beauty is Bottom
9) Infinity is Inconvenient
10) Questions Answered Answer Questions
The Universe needs limits only in order for us to understand it. Physicists believe that all particles should subscribe to symmetry and that the Universe is flat.
Symmetry explains paradox and paradox is broken by symmetry - Nature does away with symmetry at every turn. To be topologically flat the Universe must have a horizontal format - we perceive our world from a horizontal perspective, also responsible for a belief that the world was flat and the seas fell over the horizon.
Wikipedia explains that "Three-dimensional space is a geometric 3-parameters model of the physical universe (without considering time) in which we exist. These three dimensions can be labeled by a combination of three chosen from the terms length, width, height, depth, and breadth."
Measurements tend to be in linear format, because for us language appears in lines, whether literary or mathematical. Data appears in lines, drawings are lines, our vision traces 'outlines'. However, it is well known that 'nature does not like straight lines'. Nature prefers its principles to dovetail into each other, giving a holistic geometry we do not understand.
Time is scientifically defined by two wave forms, Advanced (which travels from future towards past) and Retarded (which travels from past towards future). Our perception means that we 'see' Time from a Retarded viewpoint. (Language does not allow for accidents because the Universe created it.)
Uncertainty is at work across the entire universal spectrum. Sometimes it's irritating to scientists, sometimes it is simply accepted. Putting Uncertainty into boxes and confining its application goes against the grain of its very nature.
Dark Matter appears to elude all efforts to categorise it using traditional methods. Since Dark Matter and Dark Energy are barely recognised, let alone understood, it may be premature to make assumptions regarding where it is/they are and where it/they are not.
Reliance on proven results to verify truth restricts the Uncertainty Principle. Belief systems in humans vary wildly and many are adamant that their truth is absolute, despite lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary. This is also indicative of linear thinking, often termed 'narrow minded', whereas an 'open mind' is perceived to be free from topological constraints.
Beauty is also subject to natural parameters. We have traced it to 1.618, known as the Golden Number or Golden Ratio. This number appears in a wide range of calculations and is connected to Pi, or the Fibonacci sequence. We perceive Pi, once again, as a linear calculation of numbers which 'goes on forever'. Yet in Nature it is illustrated by spiral and fractal formats.
Infinity is considered beyond the scope of the mind and therefore its appearance in most cosmological or quantum equations is, like uncertainty, a major irritation. In order to bypass the interference of infinity, scientists have to create artificial gateways and constraints for their equations.
Visitations from other civilizations are only possible if those civilizations are more advanced than our own, with technologies and methodologies superior to ours. Perhaps if there is a paradox to be found in our evolution, it may be in the discovery that Dark Matter spills everywhere, infinitely, and that the pinpricks of light by which we measure our Universe bind our perception of reality while the Universe is happily free from such bonds.
But the Dark does not readily give of its gems. We will be hard pressed out of our comfort zones if and when its dragons stir.
Today, Thursday, I've been to Tales of Lambda at Nottingham University and met some salubrious physicists in the process. Exploring dark matter, cosmological constant problems and how the quantum world behaves in terms we barely understand were all part of the show. Many things came to light, not least of which the exciting revelation that UV is causing a few headaches among the formula merchants, just as Infinity does....
Yesterday I visited my mother and was treated to a meeting with my very first Doctor, who's now 87 and long retired but no less quirky and enthusiastically entertaining. Dr Cullis will be well remembered by all his patients for evermore.
Last night I drove home, into a green pastel sunset, and wondered how to touch some kinder thoughts than those entertaining of late. Surrounded by sudden manifestations of death, even Dark Lords are not immune to a little human empathy. One had expressed sorrow and I felt he may be in a dark place, so I wanted to brighten his world.
This morning I acted on that inner directive and shared a song from long ago, a message to all who would follow the path of uncertainty;
If the fingers of my spirit touch your fire in the night, only Trust will bring me back into the Light....
Kathy is the author of Quantumology. She met quantum mechanics in 1997 and pledged allegiance to its sources thereafter. These are her personal thoughts and testimonies. For professional testimonials please see Programmes.