Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    14
  • comments
    6
  • views
    2,446

First Glimpse: The Greater Universe

thatnewjunior

509 views

I have already written a blog entry about black holes. Now here is one about something else equally as fascinating and awesome and unexplained: dark matter and dark energy.

They say the universe is forever expanding and moving and sliding and shifting. According to a timeline representing the Big Bang theory provided by National Geographic, the initial bang happened 13.8 billion years ago, and within milliseconds, it inflated enormously, and within seconds, dark matter emerges and begins to pull normal matter around. Stars began to pop up about 100 million years after the big bang. About 1 billion years after the eruption, the rapid expansion slows due to the unimaginable gravitational pull of the dark matter. 3.8 billion years later, however, dark energies appears, and the expansion speeds up again. At present, the universe is hurtling outward ceaselessly. So when they say the universe is now expanding, it is because of dark energy. In short, dark matter pulls things together, and dark energy pushes things apart. And when they say everything within the universe is constantly moving around - including our negligible little home the Milky Way - we automatically imagine a mass of stars and planets drifting aimlessly through a black void. And if we could look at this from the outside, yeah, that is what it would look like. But that is not what is happening.

Dark matter is everywhere, though it is completely invisible. The only way we could possibly see dark matter is by using a massive and complex machine with liquid argon in the center, and hoping that when dark matter hits the argon, it will trigger tiny flashes of light. Note: hoping, and even if it works, this will be detecting, not seeing. Despite this disability, epic nerd geniuses (so, scientists) have constructed a simulation of what the dark matter may look like in a massive area that includes a small, dim yellow dot labeled Milky Way. The image depicts the majority of 'space' as a grey webbing and filmy substance, which is dark matter: the scaffolding of the universe. There are black lines criss-crossing it. Those are 'free space' through which galaxies can flow. Dark matter is so powerful that it directs the flow of the universe.

Dark matter reveals itself in another way, as well. It bends lights. For example, often when we see a distant galaxy, we are actually seeing distorted images that appear to be multiple galaxies. This is because the light 'carrying' the image of a galaxy gets bent around a mass of dark matter and becomes deformed when it reaches what we can see from Earth. When we can detect the perverted images of galaxies and realize that they are in fact distorted, it indicates the presence of dark matter.

On as personal a note as the universe can possibly get, a high concentration of gamma rays have been detected near the core of our very own Milky Way. This could indicate highly active dark matter particles smashing into and annihilating one another. This is the first time we have seen dark matter annihilation, most likely because the dark matter detectors that we have created all look for interaction between dark matter and normal matter, rather than interactions dark matter and dark matter.

I hope those of you that actually read this find it just as fascinating as I do.

Until next time.



1 Comment


Recommended Comments

(oh and to explain: the attached image is of the dark matter [grey] as the 'scaffolding,' with the yellow indicating galaxies and the black indicating the paths through which the galaxies can move)

Share this comment


Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

×
×
  • Create New...