Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Dark Matter Bomb?

  1. Jan 5, 2013 #1
    I've seen "dark matter bombs" portrayed in some science fiction movies, but is this actually scientifically plausible? Could dark matter be used as a destructive weapon? What would it do, exactly? Open up a black hole?

    Anti-Matter could definitely be used as a weapon, but it would take hundreds of years just to create a teaspoon of the material.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2013 #2

    Redbelly98

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    [Note: the following quote has been edited]
    At present it is unknown what dark matter really is, so these questions are impossible to answer.

    All we know is that dark matter has a gravitational attraction to other matter.

    EDIT: People who are more knowledgeable than I might say more about what dark matter can NOT do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  4. Jan 5, 2013 #3

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    As far as we know dark matter does not interact through any force other than gravitation, so you couldn't even gather any up to create a weapon in the first place. And since it only interacts through gravity it still wouldn't do anything anyways.
     
  5. Jan 5, 2013 #4

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The nature of Dark Matter is still an open question, but it appears to be out there in space such that gathering it would require spacecraft traveling long distances - e.g., outside the solar system. I'm not sure if we have an idea of the spatial distribution of DM.

    math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/dark_matter.html

    http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/


    Rather than making a bomb from DM, it would be more productive to develop a propulsion system for space flight.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  6. Jan 19, 2013 #5
    And where exactly would you look for dark matter?

    How would you gather it?
     
  7. Jan 19, 2013 #6

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I recommend one doing some research on where Dark Matter is thought to be, e.g., outside of the solar system and within the galaxy.

    I'd probably start in the Milky Way. How to get it, I have no idea, but I'd probably start by sending probes out of the solar system.
     
  8. Jan 19, 2013 #7

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Everywhere.

    You would not. It is not possible to gather because it does not interact with anything. This means it would literally pass right through your hands if you tried to grab it.
     
  9. Jan 19, 2013 #8

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

  10. Jan 19, 2013 #9
    It would take a probe millions upon millions of years to reach the other side of the galaxy. And also, it would have to return to Earth.

    Interstellar travel does not yet exist, and probably won't for hundreds/thousands of years, if ever..
     
  11. Jan 20, 2013 #10

    Redbelly98

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    But "outside the solar system and within the galaxy" does not mean you have to go all the way to the other side of the galaxy.

    That being said ... it's pretty impractical to think about sending probes to collect it when so little is currently known about it.
     
  12. Jan 20, 2013 #11

    dlgoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Holly crap (bold by me).
    That's one big crystal. I'd like to know how they keep noise from entering the picture even at liquid nitrogen temps. :uhh: :confused:
     
  13. Jan 25, 2013 #12
    Well that's not entirely true. Since dark matter supposedly interacts only through gravity if one had somehow found out how to manipulate gravity and built a containment unit that would also do so then you could possibly collect it. However we aren't exactly at the point at which we can do that.
     
  14. Jan 25, 2013 #13
    However you have to realize that not only are we getting further in technological advances, but the rate at which we further in these technologies is getting faster. If you believe in singularity and the possibility of being "downloaded" onto a computer then assume the possibility of this allowing us to increase our cognitive capabilities therefore we might even be able to acquire this technology faster. If not well medical sciences are advancing so this generation might get to see that happen.
     
  15. Jan 26, 2013 #14
    Could DM be used to fuel the propulsion system of an interstellar spacecraft?
     
  16. Jan 26, 2013 #15

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Do you think that something that doesn't interact through any of the fundamental forces other than gravity is capable of being used as fuel? Keep in mind we've already explained that we can't even catch any to even observe, so you wouldn't be able to store it. Instead of asking random questions, think about what it means for something to not interact with something else.
     
  17. Jan 26, 2013 #16

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Please, let's stick to real physics and not science fiction unless we are talking about a story or novel that wants to ignore real world physics.
     
  18. Jan 26, 2013 #17
    I had also said that we can't exactly do that.
     
  19. Feb 6, 2013 #18
    Are you sure you are not getting confused with antimatter? I recall antimatter bombs being unleashed but never came across darkmatter bombs. Maybe it were the creators of the show whom got confused. If those bombs resulted in a big effin explosion they probably started with antimatter bombs and changed it to dark for the coolfactor.

    As for darkmatter, seen as we dont really have a grasp on it, its anything you want it to be :p .
     
  20. Feb 7, 2013 #19

    chasrob

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If you're in need of a destructive [STRIKE]instrument[/STRIKE], er... bomb, wouldn't a dark energy driven device be more appropriate?

    BTW, I'm no expert/physicist, but a big rip style bomb would seem to be more, umm, explosive.:tongue:
     
  21. Feb 8, 2013 #20

    Redbelly98

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Looks like this discussion has drifted off-topic from the OP:
    ... a perfectly legitimate question to ask here in the "Science Fiction & Fantasy" subforum.
    Exactly. We're either talking about real science, or we make it clear that we are talking about fiction.
    Actually, at Physics Forums, we do exactly that or we don't post here. Consider it our forum's Prime Directive, if I may borrow a phrase from a popular old sci fi show.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Dark Matter Bomb?
  1. Movie Dark Waters 2003 (Replies: 3)

  2. Dark matter worlds (Replies: 9)

Loading...