4/30/2015

Dark Matter

On April 20th, my friend Mr C.I. Pig (Capitalist Imperialist Pig) answered my lack of belief in Dark Matter with the comment that “Dark matter….it's pretty solid”. Then he went on to explain the four things he thinks can be explained if one believes in Dark Matter. But he added “Of course we don't know what dark matter really is, but Newton admitted that he didn't know what gravity was either. And we might discover what dark matter is fairly soon - or not.”

I´m not about to convert the six of you who will read this, but C.I. Pig´s words just didn´t sound convincing. So he got pissed off  (sort of) because I think Dark Matter doesn´t exist, and there are other ways to explain what´s going on.  C.I. Pig went on to write about how he wanted to write video games and that if I wanted to speculate about physics I needed to study math and develop a fully recognizable set of equations like these:

Matt Damon writing genius math equations 

To be honest, I got my idea about the way it works when I was watching whales jump out of the water offshore Congo. Congo was a great place to stare at things and think about the way they worked. For example, I remember the time I went to the beach near the border between Congo and Gabon. I was there invited by a friend who brought along a guard. I wish I could say I remember the beach, but I don´t. I remember the guy´s toes sticking out his boots. You see, his feet were so big, he had cut out the boot ends and his toes came out, all spread apart, as if he were trying to show off.

But I´m digressing. This is supposed to be a high level physics post. Which reminds me why I thought writing about this would be interesting:  Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist, suggested Dark Matter might cause cancer.  Dr. Hossenfelder is a genius, but she is also famous for writing: “I did however learn something from this book, for example that dogs eat cheese, which was news to me.”

It seems to me a physicist who doesn´t know dogs eat cheese is missing out on about 90 % of the whole truth about this Universe. I think she needs to spend time in Congo watching whales jump out of the water and making observations about the size of Congolese bodyguard toes. After that she´ll be able to write the Grand Unified Theory.


Congolese beach. I can´t remember it,  I remember
 our  bodyguard´s toes sticking out of his boots. 

This takes me to Michael Rampino, a professor at New York University, who got on the “Dark Matter did it”  bandwagon and speculated the dinosaurs died because the Solar system crossed a Dark Matter region, and this disturbed comet orbits (disturbed comets have a tendency to either fall towards or move away from the Sun, the ones which move towards the Sun can turn out to be  a real hassle).

Dr. Rampino (I´m pretty sure he´s got a PhD) is simply speculating. But I´m sure this speculation is fine with C.I. Pig because it sticks to the Dark Matter theme. 

My speculation is uncool because I don´t use Dark Matter.  Furthermore, C.I.  Pig doesn´t even know what my speculation is about, because I´m not a made member of the Dark Matter Mafia.  I don´t know if I´m close to being right, what bothers me about the whole issue is the tendency people have to stick to what they think they know, and refuse to consider alternatives.

And I´m not about to spill all the beans unless I get some credit. You see, I don’t want a highly educated type to copy my speculating, write a famous paper, and make a viral YouTube video using my idea. So we´re stuck.

So what´s the basic idea backing Dark Matter? Galaxies are supposed to fly apart but they don´t. In other words, they can´t explain why they don´t fly apart and invented Dark Matter to explain it. Dark Matter is out there, in space. It attracts the stuff we see (stars, planets, gas clouds, things like that), and keeps it from spreading out.

It seems to me it makes more sense to redefine gravity to account for whatever is keeping things from flying apart. Pig, Sabino, Rossenfelder,  and friends can explain anything with the wrong theory by adding gizmos to it. Whenever things don´t fit they just add another gizmo.  

My proposal to redefine gravity and push with Dr. Beckenstein (who wrote a really neat paper about this subject) ,  is what makes people like C.I. Pig go bonkers and write shit about wanting to go write video games. Hell, anybody can write a video game. Just think about shooting and blood splatters and write the code with music by Lordi, the Finnish heavy metal band.

But no everybody can rewrite gravity. And what´s the big deal about my idea turning Pig´s legs into jello? Wheeler (a famous physicist) wrote ``curvature tells matter how to move, and matter tells space-time how to curve.''  The key to the puzzle is to change the way matter tells space-time to curve when space is kinda flat.  All we got to do now is  explain why the Bullet Cluster looks like it  does without having to attach a gizmo to Einstein´s ideas about gravity.

Bullet Cluster. Galaxy cluster (the pointy one) went
 through a larger cluster (the blobby one) 

The  speculative comments,  that Dark Matter causes cancer and killed the dinos, sound very Harry Potter to me.

There´s always a possibility that I´m wrong, of course. This can be solved rather easily if somebody can find a sign of Dark Matter.  Otherwise it will remain a rather clunky "solution" to the failure of special relativity to explain what we see.

We don´t have to take the pill, even if the majority of physicists insist on their orthodox  ideas about Dark Matter.  I tend to think the solution is quite different. Wilder than most of them can imagine. And I sure hope Beckenstein´s ideas are further developed to explain the Bullet Cluster observations, so we can retire Dark Matter to the antiques shelf. 

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