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  1. #21

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    Re: Dark Matter

    Yeah, I saw that on Yahoo! news... pretty interesting, though it's definitely out of my grasp.

    Not sure what I think about the certainty of dark matter's existence without conclusive evidence to back it up. On the other hand, if/when scientists discover the exact particles involved, that'll be an amazing boon to the power of scientific prediction.

    In that sense, I'm kind of reminded about how Neptune and Pluto were discovered by pure math in the deviation of other planets' orbits and not visual observation alone.

  2. #22
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post
    Re: Dark Matter

    Yeah, I saw that on Yahoo! news... pretty interesting, though it's definitely out of my grasp.

    Not sure what I think about the certainty of dark matter's existence without conclusive evidence to back it up. On the other hand, if/when scientists discover the exact particles involved, that'll be an amazing boon to the power of scientific prediction.

    In that sense, I'm kind of reminded about how Neptune and Pluto were discovered by pure math in the deviation of other planets' orbits and not visual observation alone.
    Well in Europe they are building the biggest particle accelerator EVER. And when they start smashing things the hope is they'll prove that dark matter and gravatrons exists. And potentially see signs of branes (i.e a gravatron appears from the collision and then disappears escaping our brane).

    "On this early morning in February, technicians are lowering what they say is the world's largest electromagnet into one of the 300-foot shafts. The magnet is the size of a house, and can store enough energy to melt 18 tons of gold. It is incredibly heavy and dangles over the mouth of the shaft on four little bundles of black cables."
    [URL="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9473392"]geeksvilleURL]

    "Q&A: Shedding Light on Physics Mysteries

    by David Kestenbaum

    CERN's Large Hadron Collider is scheduled to begin operation this summer. When fully operational, it will smash protons together at energies that were present just after the big bang. The collisions will occur 600 million times every second, producing a spray of subatomic debris. Physicists hope somewhere in that haystack they will find the following needles:

    The Higgs Particle (Named after physicist Peter Higgs)

    What does it do? It gives things mass. The Higgs particle would be a companion to an (also hypothetical) Higgs "field." The field would pervade the universe and act like cosmic molasses, making everything hard to move. That's what we call mass.

    Why do we need it? Without the Higgs particle, electrons would have no mass and atoms wouldn't stick together. We would fall apart into piles of atomic nuclei.

    Likelihood it's real? High. Physicists generally agree the Higgs or something like it must exist.

    How hard would it be to find? It depends on the Higgs particle's characteristics. The Higgs doesn't live long and quickly decays into other particles. Depending on what those are, physicists might be able to pick out Higgs fingerprints quickly, or it could take years of sifting through data.

    Dark Matter

    What is it? Dark Matter is the name given to the mysterious invisible material that seems to hang around galaxies. Estimates are that 20 percent of the stuff in the universe is dark matter. Astronomers call it dark because they can't see it.

    If it's invisible, how do you find it? You don't
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  3. #23
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    No need to pin hopes on this one -- if the refinement of instruments continues along with the trend of discoveries, located candidates will be even closer to the ideal.

  4. #24
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    No need to pin hopes on this one -- if the refinement of instruments continues along with the trend of discoveries, located candidates will be even closer to the ideal.
    Very true, there should be other closer candidates. The big thing is whether any planet we find is on the correct angle to us so it traverses ( cuts in front of) its star from out point of view. We can then get an idea about its atmosphere from the way the light changes near the planet.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  5. #25
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    I was listening to an interesting radio show discussion this morning on Gravity Waves and how they might be measurable. Experiment involves super accurate lasers shone through two 6kg pieces of glass and trying to measure if a gravitational wave changes the size of the glass. In terms of how weak they are, a gravitational wave (and this is not the same as gravity) might move an item by 1 millionth of the diameter of one atom. The gravitational waves generated by our Sun's system are equaivalent in energy to about 6 lightbulbs. Fun eh.

    To use an analogy, take a rubber sheet and put a football on it.. the resulting curve might represent gravity from the sun, objects like the earth (a tennis ball) would roll down the sheet. Gravitational waves would be very weak sideways tremors in the sheet.

    It's the next step beyond trying to find a way through dark matter and the Big Bang, it seems. Beyond that lies the graviton, in terms of determining what and how gravity waves work.

    The purpose, amongst others, seems to be an understanding of the "inflationary" period following the Big Bang, which should have left distortions in the background radiation in the Universe which they are trying to measure.

    At least that's what I picked up while driving. I may have misheard some of it!

    I'm also amused by the idea that if you turn on your tv without tuning to a channel, the interference is basically a view of the background cosmic radiation of the universe - the white cloud of buzzing dots is the infinite universe in your living room. Cool, eh.

    -Geoff

  6. #26
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darlets View Post
    The big thing is whether any planet we find is on the correct angle to us so it traverses (cuts in front of) its star from our point of view. We can then get an idea about its atmosphere from the way the light changes near the planet.
    It's frustrating to be dependent on particular arrangements -- better a more effective (or less extrapolative) sighting technique be developed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    I'm also amused by the idea that if you turn on your tv without tuning to a channel, the interference is basically a view of the background cosmic radiation of the universe - the white cloud of buzzing dots is the infinite universe in your living room.
    Yes, the television. "Instructions" are regularly received from Frogstar B via the flyback transformer.

  7. #27
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    It's frustrating to be dependent on particular arrangements -- better a more effective (or less extrapolative) sighting technique be developed.
    It does kinda suck. Unfortunately our point of view only shifts about 16 light minutes (I think it's 8 to the sun) every 180 odd days. It's not much of an angle to play with.

    I was reading about how they used to try and calculate Longitude, and it was based on observation of Jupiters moons. They notice that their calculated times for the moons appearances were off depending on where the earth was around the sun, because the light had to travel different distances. They were quite sure how fast light went but they knew how long it took to get to the sun.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  8. #28
    Member Beyonder's Avatar
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    Well, if it actually is inhabitable, and we do manage to colonise it, I wonder what evolution will do in the long-run, to those colonists. Gleese having a larger gravitational pull than Mother Earth, that is... Probably more dense muscles, and people becoming slightly shorter than here...
    "I determined nothing."
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  9. #29
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beyonder View Post
    Well, if it actually is inhabitable, and we do manage to colonise it, I wonder what evolution will do in the long-run, to those colonists. Gleese having a larger gravitational pull than Mother Earth, that is... Probably more dense muscles, and people becoming slightly shorter than here...
    Zero gravity on the astronauts has some bad effects, quite quickly. It would be interesting to know how much more or less gravity humans could cope with long term. I'd think it would be easier to go done and be a 0.9 G.

    Wouldn't on higher gravity planets, animals would need a higher energy intake because it would require more energy to move around. I'm just guessing.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  10. #30
    Member Beyonder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darlets View Post
    Wouldn't on higher gravity planets, animals would need a higher energy intake because it would require more energy to move around. I'm just guessing.
    I guess it would... Well, now that you mention it, I wouldn't want to be one of the first colonists, me already having a rather large appetite lol
    I'll go and check it out once we get exosuits or something
    "I determined nothing."
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