What Really Grinds my Gear about the Dark Phenomena.

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Physics is unable to explain the acceleration of the universe and the law of gravity isn't as accurate and obsolete as they thought it was.. How do we react?

Invent dark energy and dark matter to take care of the non-accurateness of our knowledge. It is very easy to adjust a formula by adding external forces to explain it (such as dark energy and dark matter).

We glorify our gravity formula and look for a scape-goat.

This is what grinds my gear.

Discuss.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
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That's not a scapegoat. We just gave the phenomena names. Calling them dark this or dark that doesn't mean we're giving a definition or explanation to what they are.
 
  • #3
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That's not a scapegoat. We just gave the phenomena names. Calling them dark this or dark that doesn't mean we're giving a definition or explanation to what they are.
Correct me if I'm wrong. The theory of dark matter and dark energy is that of virtual particles that affect space and gravity.
 
  • #4
Pengwuino
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Correct me if I'm wrong. The theory of dark matter and dark energy is that of virtual particles that affect space and gravity.
No, where did you get that?
 
  • #5
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  • #6
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While that may happen, it's not dark energy or dark matter.

My gears are ground too. I can't prove it but my gut tells me there is no dark energy or dark matter needed to explain the rotation of galaxies. GR probably gets the right answer if the problem is properly formulated.
 
  • #7
ZapperZ
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Physics is unable to explain the acceleration of the universe and the law of gravity isn't as accurate and obsolete as they thought it was.. How do we react?

Invent dark energy and dark matter to take care of the non-accurateness of our knowledge. It is very easy to adjust a formula by adding external forces to explain it (such as dark energy and dark matter).

We glorify our gravity formula and look for a scape-goat.

This is what grinds my gear.

Discuss.
This idea is utterly silly. You expect knowledge of a phenomenon to be known completely in a short period of time? What universe do you live in?

Why do you think "x-ray" was called that? It was because when it was first detected, no one knew what it was, so they just labeled it with the letter "X". Now, according to you, if you've lived around that time, that's the end of that!

If we had called it with some exotic name (such as tachyon), just think that you wouldn't have been any wiser about the fact that we are still trying to figure out what it is.

Zz.
 
  • #8
This idea is utterly silly. You expect knowledge of a phenomenon to be known completely in a short period of time? What universe do you live in?

Why do you think "x-ray" was called that? It was because when it was first detected, no one knew what it was, so they just labeled it with the letter "X". Now, according to you, if you've lived around that time, that's the end of that!

If we had called it with some exotic name (such as tachyon), just think that you wouldn't have been any wiser about the fact that we are still trying to figure out what it is.

Zz.
With relation to dark matter, I agree completely. The expansion of the universe however being explained by dark energy is unfortunate and it doesn't take more than one googling to see how people conflate Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and now, 'Dark Flow'. Calling Dark Matter by that name is fine, but then going ahead with "Dark Energy" is really unfortunate, and leads to warped expectations of what is being demonstrated, or not.
 
  • #9
ZapperZ
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The expansion of the universe however being explained by dark energy is unfortunate and it doesn't take more than one googling to see how people conflate Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and now, 'Dark Flow'. Calling Dark Matter by that name is fine, but then going ahead with "Dark Energy" is really unfortunate, and leads to warped expectations of what is being demonstrated, or not.
.. and you are able to judge this because.... ?

Zz.
 
  • #10
.. and you are able to judge this because.... ?

Zz.
It's just my opinion, in GD. From what I've read on this site, Dark Matter is a well accepted explanation, although lacking in details. Dark Energy is a name for a variable in the question of what is driving accelerating expansion. Dark Flow seems very far-fetched to me, but tries to gain credibility or at least attention by jumping on the "Dark" train.

I think a quick perusal of physorg and less controlled environments shows that conflation occurs all too often; this use of "Dark" in a modern context is unfortunate. Note that all unnamed elements are standardized, BUT UNIQUE. Physics, especially popular cosmology seems to be peppered with neologisms that do more to confuse the issues than clarify them.

May I ask, is there a reason NOT to assign phenomenon unique "slang" names if that's what must be done?
 
  • #11
ZapperZ
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Just because it is in GD doesn't mean that one can make unjustified claims either. The PF Rules applies globally.

It appears that your disagreement about Dark energy is based on a matter of tastes. Then my favorite color is teal green.

Zz.
 
  • #12
Just because it is in GD doesn't mean that one can make unjustified claims either. The PF Rules applies globally.

It appears that your disagreement about Dark energy is based on a matter of tastes. Then my favorite color is teal green.

Zz.
OK.

Wikipedia said:
The dark matter component has much more mass than the "visible" component of the universe.[46] Only about 4.6% of the mass of the Universe is ordinary matter. About 23% is thought to be composed of dark matter. The remaining 72% is thought to consist of dark energy, an even stranger component, distributed diffusely in space.[47] Determining the nature of this missing mass is one of the most important problems in modern cosmology and particle physics. It has been noted that the names "dark matter" and "dark energy" serve mainly as expressions of human ignorance, much like the marking of early maps with "terra incognita".[47]
I'd note that "47" footnote links to: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-search-for-dark-matte

Scientific American!

You make the case that once the term "X" was used. Well, times change, and nomenclature does as well. So, again, in these cases where "Dark" is becoming UNFORTUNATELY synonymous with "X", we could just as easily lose the prefix and the ensuing confusion.

To quote this site: https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2009215&postcount=8

marcus said:
Originally Posted by Lord Einstein
isnt all this called dark matter?

No. In cosmology the term dark matter has a definite meaning. Dark matter has not come up in this discussion thread.

Kashlinsky's team thought they had detected a slight statistical drift in a large sample of galaxies---ordinary visible galaxies made of ordinary matter.

It turned out later that they probably made some errors. They wrote two papers, we will see if those papers are quickly forgotten, or if they trigger a bunch of follow-up papers. If the consensus is that Kashlinsky was wrong then we won't hear anymore about it.

Meanwhile Kashlinsky, back in October or November, wants some public attention so he calls what he found a "dark flow". There is no scientific reason for him to use the word "dark". Perhaps he does it because dark resonates with mysterious intriguing things like dark matter and dark energy, already in the public mind. Or because it's become a buzz-word. In any case he calls his statistical drift of galaxies (which may not exist after all) by the name "dark" and it makes it sound more exciting.
Is this more in line with the standards for GD?

edit: I should say, does this explain that my view is based on more than arbitrary taste, but that it is a concern shared by those you trust to advise others here, and the magazine which helps to sponsor you?
 
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  • #13
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Jimmy Snyder: I don't like dark matter and dark energy. Does that mean that they don't exist?
Sean Carroll: No, the universe doesn't care about your asthetic sensibilities.

(that's a paraphrase, not a quote)

I went to a lecture by Professor Carroll at Stony Brook University. I don't recall the title of his talk, but the theme was "If you don't like dark matter and dark energy ..." He tried to be as open as he could to the idea that there were flaws in the equations and that by tweaking them you might be able to overcome the distasteful conclusion. He went through various equations tweaking exponents, coefficients, and terms with abandon. However, in every case he found that the experimental data put such constraints on the parameters in the functions that you either failed to do away with the dark stuff, or you introduced other effects that were even more distasteful. He came to no definite answer to satisfy those of us who fell that the dark stuff is unsettling, but he did convey to me the idea that without more data, we had no better theory in sight.
 
  • #14
Jimmy Snyder: I don't like dark matter and dark energy. Does that mean that they don't exist?
Sean Carroll: No, the universe doesn't care about your asthetic sensibilities.

(that's a paraphrase, not a quote)

I went to a lecture by Professor Carroll at Stony Brook University. I don't recall the title of his talk, but the theme was "If you don't like dark matter and dark energy ..." He tried to be as open as he could to the idea that there were flaws in the equations and that by tweaking them you might be able to overcome the distasteful conclusion. He went through various equations tweaking exponents, coefficients, and terms with abandon. However, in every case he found that the experimental data put such constraints on the parameters in the functions that you either failed to do away with the dark stuff, or you introduced other effects that were even more distasteful. He came to no definite answer to satisfy those of us who fell that the dark stuff is unsettling, but he did convey to me the idea that without more data, we had no better theory in sight.
For myself, I feel that Dark Matter is as well observed as we can expect it to be for now, but it does appear to be a real "thing". Dark Energy could be one thing, or many... if it adds up at the end of the day, given the total lack of a viable theory, does it matter? Dark Flow could literally be a 'blip on the radar'.

Does that sound about right? Yes, there is some weird 'stuff' called "Dark Matter" that makes up a portion of the mass out there, and another portion is "Dark Energy". The former might be one of several existing theories, such as WIMPs, or sterile neutrinos, but it's probably a single kind of matter. Dark Energy is just a catch-all to answer how the universe is doing what we observe it to do: accelerate in its expansion.
 
  • #15
disregardthat
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For myself, I feel that Dark Matter is as well observed as we can expect it to be for now, but it does appear to be a real "thing". Dark Energy could be one thing, or many... if it adds up at the end of the day, given the total lack of a viable theory, does it matter? Dark Flow could literally be a 'blip on the radar'.

Does that sound about right? Yes, there is some weird 'stuff' called "Dark Matter" that makes up a portion of the mass out there, and another portion is "Dark Energy". The former might be one of several existing theories, such as WIMPs, or sterile neutrinos, but it's probably a single kind of matter. Dark Energy is just a catch-all to answer how the universe is doing what we observe it to do: accelerate in its expansion.
Dark matter and dark energy is at present an operational hypothesis, a basis for further research. No one has settled for this conclusion.
 
  • #16
Dark matter and dark energy is at present an operational hypothesis, a basis for further research. No one has settled for this conclusion.
I beg to differ; if Dark Matter turns out to be something OTHER than matter, it seems AFAIK that it would require re-writing physics. The most we seem to know about dark energy is that vacuum expectation energy doesn't cut it. On is an operational hypothesis, the other is just "X".
 
  • #17
DevilsAvocado
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Correct me if I'm wrong. The theory of dark matter and dark energy is that of virtual particles that affect space and gravity.
Well I think you’re wrong. Dark Matter (DM) is not made of virtual particles; the main candidates are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weakly_interacting_massive_particles" [Broken] (MACHO).

And lately "sterile neutrinos" is one possible solution to get https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=461353".

Regarding Dark Energy (DE) the problem is somewhat tougher, because if we compare the vacuum energy and the force needed for Dark Energy, wet get a difference of 1 to 10−120 ... :bugeye:

I.e. not that easy to "level out" in any mathematical formula ...

... but Rome wasn't built in a day, so I really don’t understand the 'indignation'. :rolleyes:


Now Zz can correct my faults (there’s probably several) :smile:
 
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  • #18
Well I think you’re wrong. Dark Matter (DM) is not made of virtual particles; the main candidates are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weakly_interacting_massive_particles" [Broken] (MACHO).

And lately "sterile neutrinos" is one possible solution to get https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=461353".

Regarding Dark Energy (DE) the problem is somewhat tougher, because if we compare the vacuum energy and the force needed for Dark Energy, wet get a difference of 1 to 10−120 ... :bugeye:

I.e. not that easy to "level out" in any mathematical formula ...

... but Rome wasn't built in a day, so I really don’t understand the 'indignation'. :rolleyes:


Now Zz can correct my faults (there’s probably several) :smile:
edit: bolding mine

There is something odd about demanding instant answers to some of the most emergent and baffling questions in physics. Nobody ever marvels at LASERS... they just cry that we can't show them the inside of a black hole. :grumpy:
 
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  • #19
DevilsAvocado
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... they just cry that we can't show them the inside of a black hole. :grumpy:
Don’t say that to a Frenchman because he will probably hit you in the face!! :rofl:
 
  • #20
Don’t say that to a Frenchman because he will probably hit you in the face!! :rofl:
:blushing: I didn't think of that!!! DA... :biggrin:
 
  • #21
DevilsAvocado
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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
 
  • #22
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Correct me if I'm wrong. The theory of dark matter and dark energy is that of virtual particles that affect space and gravity.
Ever find one, yet?

That's not a scapegoat. We just gave the phenomena names. Calling them dark this or dark that doesn't mean we're giving a definition or explanation to what they are.
I'll buy that. :) I hope we find a better answer somewhere down the road.
 
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  • #23
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Fair enough, you guys brought up really good points. Thanks for the enlightenment. =D

Though it is still a hypothesis; other opinions are that our understanding of gravity isn't as complete as we thought it was. My opinion is leaning towards the latter.
 
  • #24
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Fair enough, you guys brought up really good points. Thanks for the enlightenment. =D

Though it is still a hypothesis; other opinions are that our understanding of gravity isn't as complete as we thought it was. My opinion is leaning towards the latter.
There is something odd about demanding instant answers to some of the most emergent and baffling questions in physics.
Yes, I agree. Despite our best efforts, we keeping coming across some rather interesting, mind-pausing phenomena. If anything, I think the best is yet to come. :)
 
  • #25
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I am having a hard time reining in my inner R. Lee Ermey. "You want to know what grinds my gears? You do!"

This is one of the least informed criticisms I have heard. Ever. Seriously.

Many of the other points have been touched on by others (I particularly like the comparisons with x-rays), but people have been thinking about modifications of gravity since 1983. Nineteen-bleeping-eighty-three. If you had bothered to chug on over to a library... wait. I'm channeling R. Lee Ermey again.

It's your own ignorance and misunderstandings that are leading you astray - but rather than asking to be enlightened, your reaction is "all those scientists are doing it wrong". Bah.

If you have a moment, I encourage you to read Steve Dutch's http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/SelfApptdExp.htm" [Broken] on self-appointed experts. Everyone should.

Tissue?
 
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