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Missing Space

  1. Nov 27, 2009 #1
    As a novice to Quantum physics and as a working physicist in the oil industry this may be a stupid question but I find the whole subject of quantum physics fascinating.

    I have been pondering the missing mass in the universe and particle vs wave argument and came across a nice description using the analogy of a pond. If I throw a stone into a pond I get both a wave that propogates out from the point of impact as well as particle motion due to the motion of the molecules of water.

    So my question is. Is the missing mass in the Universe an entity that allows light and electromagnetic radiation to travel through space much like water behaves in a pond when a stone is thrown in thus light and electromagnetic radiation behave like a wave and a particle?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2009 #2


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    There are no stupid questions, only stupid people. [Sorry, I really like that joke.] As a working physicist, you're not stupid.

    I just did an arXiv search for "dark matter" in the 2009 abstracts. There were so many hits the server would "only" display 1000 of them. Despite all this activity, there isn't even agreement as to whether there really IS any "missing mass," i.e., some theories account for the observations by changing the theory of gravity instead of adding matter, e.g., MOND and GR with torsion. So, as of now, there's no agreed upon resolution to the mystery of dark or missing matter in the universe.

    This is not the first time astronomers have proposed the existence of dark matter, btw. Using Newtonian gravity and extra matter inside the orbit of Mercury you can account for its perihelion precession (e.g., problem 49, p 153, Mechanics, 3rd ed, by Keith Symon, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, (1971), ISBN 0-201-07392-7), so some astronomers were trying to find that dark matter before general relativity solved the problem by changing the theory of gravity. Anomalies in the ephemeris of Uranus led astronomers to speculate on dark matter in the form of a new planet which led to the discovery of Neptune. So, according to history, we might infer the current mystery of dark matter could be resolved either way.
  4. Nov 27, 2009 #3
    Perhaps! It sounds like you're saying that space itself might be acting like the water of a pond. That's one way to describe it. Some think that there is some energy to spacetime itself. They call it dark energy which causes the universe to expand.
  5. Nov 27, 2009 #4
    No, that would be the aether hypothesis, which Einstein's special relativity abolished in 1905.
    RUTA was correct in mentioning dark, non-baryonic matter (what's interesting is the suggestion that there was an unknown dark matter explination proposed a century ago. I learn something new every day on this forum! :) )
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