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.
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.