Dark Energy & Matter: Exploring the Big Bang

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of matter/anti-matter annihilation resulting in dark energy and an unknown quantum particle. However, it is stated that this is not possible based on current knowledge. The concept of dark energy and the unknown particle is further explored and it is mentioned that experiments are being conducted to detect them. The conversation also touches on the frustration of not knowing exactly what dark energy is and the possibility of an unknown particle being generated from annihilation events. Overall, there is a lack of concrete evidence and understanding surrounding these concepts.
  • #1
Michaela SJ
18
11
Ok, this question is prompted by watching a TV program on the Big Bang - sorry!

Right after inflation, there was a flood of matter/anti-matter. The matter/anti-matter went through a period of annihilation but there was a residual amount of (anti-)matter left that has become our physical universe.

Is it possible that the matter/anti-matter annihilation resulted in what we now know as Dark Energy and there was quantum type particle that resulted from the collisions of the matter/anti-matter that we have not yet seen that is the Dark Matter we 'know' is there but can't see?
 
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  • #2
Michaela SJ said:
Is it possible that the matter/anti-matter annihilation resulted in what we now know as Dark Energy

Nope. Not as far as we know.

Michaela SJ said:
and there was quantum type particle

I don't know what a 'quantum type particle' is supposed to mean. All known fundamental particles are described by quantum physics.

Michaela SJ said:
that resulted from the collisions of the matter/anti-matter that we have not yet seen that is the Dark Matter we 'know' is there but can't see?

It's possible that dark matter is a product of decays/annihilations, but we have yet to see it in any of our experiments.
 
  • #3
This should be testable as we can produce anti-matter. Still before we can "test" it we need to determine just what dark matter is and we still only have theories about that.

It always frustrates me seeing media articles about us building a "dark matter" detector. How can you contrust a test to detect something when you do not know exactly what it is you are trying to detect.
 
  • #4
One of the big problems many of us non-techies have with the science cognoscenti is that they easily blow off legitimate questions with a pat on the head and 'please go away' attitude.

Drakkith - we do not know what Dark Energy is because it is well, unknown. I asked a legitimate question knowing how E=mc^2 and an amount of matter/anti-matter could result in the very large amount of Dark Energy being touted as there - but, of course, we don't know what it is.

Why couldn't the resultant energy released in a matter/anti-matter collision be a form of energy that we suspect as Dark Energy but can only prophesize?

As for a 'quantum' particle. I didn't know what else to call it. How about I restate my question and ask about an unknown particle that resulted from the incomplete annihilation of a matter/anti-matter collision. Remember the Higgs Boson wasn't 'found' until 2012 and then only because the particle physics community knew what they were looking for it.

MikeeMiracle
MikeeMiracle said:
...
It always frustrates me seeing media articles about us building a "dark matter" detector. How can you contrust [sic] a test to detect something when you do not know exactly what it is you are trying to detect.
Statements like yours also always frustrate some folk like me.

How many particle accelerators are there around the World looking for things we can only think exist.

Why did we spend hundreds of millions of Dollars to build the LIGO and the Virgo interferometer looking for something we only suspected existed.

There have always been explorers who set off not really knowing what lies just beyond that ever disappearing horizon until something looms in their telescope.
 
  • #5
Michaela SJ said:
Drakkith - we do not know what Dark Energy is because it is well, unknown. I asked a legitimate question knowing how E=mc^2 and an amount of matter/anti-matter could result in the very large amount of Dark Energy being touted as there - but, of course, we don't know what it is.

We don't know what dark energy is, but we sure know a lot about what it is not. For starters, dark energy is not energy that you can get from annihilating two particles. This energy is always released in forms that we can observe and measure, and all experiments to date have shown that there is no apparent violation of energy conservation that would happen if some of the energy disappeared into space as dark energy.

Michaela SJ said:
As for a 'quantum' particle. I didn't know what else to call it. How about I restate my question and ask about an unknown particle that resulted from the incomplete annihilation of a matter/anti-matter collision.

There is no such thing as an incomplete annihilation event. I think what you're trying to ask is what if there is a small chance that an annihilation, decay, or other interaction event generate an unknown particle. The only answer I can give you is that no such thing has been observed, despite trillions of collisions and annihilation events inside particle colliders and other kinds of detectors over the last fifty-plus years.
 
  • #6
Michaela SJ said:
Ok, this question is prompted by watching a TV program on the Big Bang - sorry!

Right after inflation, there was a flood of matter/anti-matter. The matter/anti-matter went through a period of annihilation but there was a residual amount of (anti-)matter left that has become our physical universe.

Is it possible that the matter/anti-matter annihilation resulted in what we now know as Dark Energy and there was quantum type particle that resulted from the collisions of the matter/anti-matter that we have not yet seen that is the Dark Matter we 'know' is there but can't see?

Think of this way: The period of matter-antimatter annihilation was a one-off event. While it might have added energy to the universe at the time, it wouldn't cause an acceleration in the expansion of the universe since then.
It is like when you throw a ball into the air. During the period of time during which the ball is in your hand, you are increasing its kinetic energy. This is the equivalent of the annihilation period adding energy to the universe. Once you let go, it will continue to climb, but will slow in response to gravity as it does so. Likewise, after the annihilation period you would expect the universe to continue to expand, but the rate of that expansion should slow over time.
What we see in the universe is an expansion rate that it speeding up and not slowing down.( The study that found this out was expecting to measure a slowdown. It was trying to determine if that slowdown was great enough to ever bring the expansion to a complete halt.)

It's like the ball continuing to climb at a faster and faster rate after it leaves our hand. Something beyond the energy our hand imparted to it has to be responsible.

Fpr the accelerating expansion of the universe to be the result of matter-antimatter annihilation, this would have to be on going throughout the age of the universe, and we see no evidence of this being the case.
 
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  • #7
Janus said:
The period of matter-antimatter annihilation was a one-off event. While it might have added energy to the universe at the time

No, it didn't, because energy is locally conserved. What the period of annihilation did was transfer a lot of energy from radiation (i.e., particles like photons) to matter (i.e., baryons and leptons). This resulted in a lot of energy being in the form of rest mass, where before only very little energy was in that from. But the total energy was conserved throughout the process.
 
  • #8
Drakkith said:
We don't know what dark energy is, but we sure know a lot about what it is not. For starters, dark energy is not energy that you can get from annihilating two particles. This energy is always released in forms that we can observe and measure, and all experiments to date have shown that there is no apparent violation of energy conservation that would happen if some of the energy disappeared into space as dark energy.
This statement isn't strictly true. There is often missing energy in observed reactions, because there are some particles, such as neutrinos, that have a tendency to pass right through matter and are difficult to detect as a result.

The clearest example of such a particle is the neutrino, many of which escape detection in reactions.

The properties of the particles we don't detect can be estimated from the properties of the particles we do detect, however, provided we observe enough collisions. This is one method that might someday yield a detection of the dark matter particle, but current colliders (including the LHC) aren't really sensitive enough in the right ways to detect that sort of thing unless we get incredibly lucky.

All that said, missing mass in collisions really can't explain dark energy for a completely different and more fundamental reason: dark energy isn't a particle. It's one of two things:

1) The Cosmological Constant, which can be interpreted as a constant energy density throughout space-time, or as a simple parameter in General Relativity that states that there is X amount of space-time curvature all the time even if there is no matter or energy (the math let's you interpret it either way).
2) Some sort of field which, in its ground state, has a net energy density. The dark energy is not that field itself, but rather the energy left over when the field is at rest. There may be one or more particles associated with that field, but they're generally not expected to ever be detectable due to the tiny field value.
 
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Related to Dark Energy & Matter: Exploring the Big Bang

1. What is dark energy and dark matter?

Dark energy and dark matter are two mysterious components that make up a large portion of the universe. Dark energy is believed to be a force that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate. Dark matter, on the other hand, is a type of matter that does not interact with light and is invisible to telescopes. Both of these components are thought to play a crucial role in the evolution and structure of the universe.

2. How do we know that dark energy and dark matter exist?

Scientists have observed the effects of dark energy and dark matter through various experiments and observations. For example, the accelerated expansion of the universe can be seen through the redshift of distant galaxies. The gravitational effects of dark matter can also be observed on the movement of stars and galaxies. Additionally, the cosmic microwave background radiation, leftover from the Big Bang, also provides evidence for the existence of dark energy and dark matter.

3. What is the difference between dark energy and dark matter?

Dark energy and dark matter are two distinct components, with different properties and effects on the universe. Dark energy is a force that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, while dark matter is a type of matter that has a gravitational effect on the movement of stars and galaxies. Dark energy is thought to make up about 70% of the universe, while dark matter makes up about 25%. The remaining 5% is made up of visible matter, such as stars and galaxies.

4. How does dark energy and dark matter relate to the Big Bang?

The Big Bang theory is the most widely accepted explanation for the origin of the universe. It states that the universe began as a singularity, a point of infinite density and temperature, and has been expanding ever since. Dark energy and dark matter are thought to have been present since the beginning of the universe and have played a crucial role in its evolution. They are also thought to be responsible for the formation of galaxies and the large-scale structure of the universe.

5. Can we harness dark energy and dark matter for practical use?

At this time, we do not have the technology or understanding to harness dark energy and dark matter for practical use. However, scientists are constantly researching and studying these components in hopes of gaining a better understanding of their properties and potential applications. Some theories suggest that dark energy could potentially be used as a source of energy in the distant future, but more research is needed to make this a reality.

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