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Dark matter discovery: Bail me out, guys?

  1. Oct 27, 2003 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    I went to a cosmology seminar recently. It was mostly for fun,
    but if you complete a take home exam you get a tiny bit of college credit for it.
    Things were going along fine until I ran across the last two questions:

    How was Dark Matter just discovered and when did this happen?

    What measurement in 2003 confirmed the Dark Matter evidence?

    I can't find any specific references to this in my notes about Dark Matter actually being discovered other than
    some information about ongoing experiments for detection being done with liquid xenon.
    The lecturer was very good but he was way over my head technically. Could anyone point me to some web links where I can research these questions more? I am turning up zilch on my web searches and I would
    really like to take a stab at answering them.


    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2003 #2
    Vera Rubin might know.

    There are a number of measurements in 2003 and other years that have supported dark matter. Since this is in the context of cosmology, I will take a stab and guess: try looking for measurements of the cosmic background radiation.
     
  4. Oct 27, 2003 #3
    Actually, come to think of it, the cosmic background measurements were published in 2002. I've attended several dark matter talks recently, and none of them have mentioned any major cosmological measurements of dark matter this year, though there are always minor measurements ongoing.

    For a survey of the status of dark matter and dark energy research, you can look in the library for the June 20 edition of "Science" magazine.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2003 #4

    LURCH

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    Or try looking at the link in the "Dark Matter Detected? (Oct1 Reprint)" Topic in this very Forum.
     
  6. Oct 27, 2003 #5
    That's a very interesting result, but I personally wouldn't count it as evidence confirming the existence of dark matter; we still don't know what it's due to. So I don't think it could be the answer needed.
     
  7. Oct 27, 2003 #6

    chroot

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    The answer: the rotation curves of galaxies (the graph of rotation velocity versus radial distance from the center) is not what is expected from the light curve (the graph of luminosity versus radial distance).

    It's been known for at least 50 years, but I'm not sure there was a single distinct observation that launched the idea.

    - Warren
     
  8. Oct 28, 2003 #7

    Nereid

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  9. Oct 28, 2003 #8

    Math Is Hard

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    Wow - thanks for the direction on this, everybody. I really appreciate it.
     
  10. Nov 12, 2003 #9

    Math Is Hard

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    p.s. I finally decided the first question was probably a trick. If anybody "discovered" Dark Matter I would think it was Fritz Zwicky when he conjectured about missing mass keeping the galaxies from flying apart.
    That might not be the answer they are looking for but it works for me.
     
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