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back to article Sixty-seven WIMPs spotted in the wild, maybe

It’s not quite enough evidence to constitute a discovery, but scientists working on the CRESST experiment think they may have spotted Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). WIMPs are one of they key theories to account for the “missing stuff” of the Universe. The amount of baryonic matter we observe with telescopes is too …

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Coat

The trouble with this and all dark matter searches is that the theory underneath it's that the universe is so heavy that one day it will contract back on itself and recreate the big bang. That's a big assumption and is mainly based on the opinion of prof. Hawking and a brief history of time, where he tries to exclude god.

I'm not a believer but I left physics over 20 years ago after many discussions about this. I have no doubt that dark matter exists but all the billions that have been poured into looking for it based on an opinion, rather than observation, was and is still crazy. The possible contraction is not even a theory it's doesn't meet the criteria of being based on observation and then prediction.

I already got my coast and left a long time ago.

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WTF?

eh?

do you understand what you are talking about?

The search for Dark Matter is an attempt to resolve the difference between how much gravity we calculate is needed to hold galaxies together and how much we can actual account for in observations.

It's fundamental to the science to find out if our models of gravity are right or wrong.

Contraction or continued expansion is something we maybe able to learn from resolving that conflict but it's not the point of the experiment.

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Bronze badge

You're confusing two separate theories, probably deliberately, possibly in order to forward a pro-religion agenda by the sounds of it.

We "know" the mass of the universe, to a certain extent. We also know that if, after plugging it through lots of equations, we get something less than 1, the universe will collapse and expand forever. If we get EXACTLY 1, it will expand to a fixed size and stop forever. If we get more than 1, it will expand forever and never collapse back. We currently measure that figure to be 1, plus or minus several dozen (i.e. totally inconclusive).

None of that has anything to do with the fact that the mass we *do* see out there (by observation) can't be ALL that's out there because there's hidden stuff "tugging" it about and the only explanation is hidden (dark) matter. We know how much that hidden matter must be (by the extent it tugs space/matter about) so we take it into account with everything we "weigh" in the universe. But this article is about finding out what that dark matter is, not how much it weighs. You're talking about finding out what that number is, which is based on what we KNOW must be out there (we just can't see it), the article's talking about what nature of material some of that hidden mass that we KNOW is out there actually is.

Spuriously related, but entirely separate issues. And not one single jot of it has anything to do with God. It can only be good for us that you left physics all that time ago, because you're mixing two separate things in order to bitch about someone who has more accepted published papers in physics than you'll ever write (or even understand). Whether or not he tried to do it starting from an anti-God assumption, I don't care - his physics was, and still is, pretty sound. But, to be honest, I'd be very surprised if that's how he started off, or if God actually figures in his equations at all and think it's just you mis-interpreting the book and confusing two entirely separate portions of it, again.

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Silver badge

Don't you just love how any discussion about the fundamentals of the Universe are immediately trolled by pseudo non-beleivers and turned into yet another Science vs God debate ?

You neither ?

Oh, good.

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Headmaster

Agreed. And its 'gods' not 'God', people. Hawkings doesn't believe in *gods*, and probably not in dragons or ghosts either. And nor do I

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WTF?

Yes I do understand

Dark matter does exist in the form of black holes and that was exceptional work by hawkings and his partner but so far observation tells us that for contraction theories to work that the universe is 90% too light, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-1

I am not a believer but I wouldn't propound a scientific closed loop theory to exclude a god because of my beliefs. There's more evidence that hawking is wrong than right which is a fact not a troll. Everyone believes einstein was wrong on on his grand unified theory and his opinions on quantum mechanics. (so do I). So why should one not question the theories of hawking? Plus be a lot more concerned about all the funding being spent when it could have been better spent on QED and materials research. It appears that "dark matter" is just one if those topics like climate change where one cannot have an open debate.

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Trollface

Apparently Hawking is considered something of a troll in the physics community as he likes to go off on tangents into mathematical wastelands /like euclidean spacetime/ ans is known to big up the controversy and sale of his rather fluffy books by /claiming the existence of/ /denying the existence of/ /claiming to soon know the mind of/ God, which goes down /well/ /badly/ with whatever empirically challenged talking head is currently on TV, especially in the /babylonian/ /fundamentalist/ old USA.

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sfz
Linux

ewrwr

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@Philip Clarke

The problem is not your trying to have an open debate, but trying to drag in your personal hobby-horse opinions on therories and people that have no direct relevance to the article being commented on (research on nature of dark matter vs. theories on open/closed nature of the universe - a bit like posting about chalk on a cheese forum because they both contain calcium!). It's a free world (and comments section), so I am not going to claim you can't post what you damned well like... but you have to expect to be called out when you post OT.

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Boffin

So WIMPs may beat MACHOs yet?

MACHO = MAssive Cold Halo Object, an alternative source of dark matter

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Brave New Days Creating AIMazements with CodeXSSXXXX

And a result of unnecessary and unnatural abstinence, Michael H.F. Wilkinson?

When WIMPs are unbeatable, who will compete, or will everything be Private and Pirate Partnered?

Does Renaissance deliver Renegade Special Terrain Forces for the LOVE Meme Program/SMART Active Promotions? And that question to the White House. Every answer and no answer at all tells us everything that needs to be known, with silence the most revealing of lost causes?

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Thought it was "Compact" Halo Object?

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Boffin

Dark Matter

Dark Matter always seemed like a modern phlogiston to me. There's no denying that the effect is real, but whether the interpretation of the cause is correct...

It struck me whilst reading about M-theory that whilst most strings that form elementary particles are stuck to their "home brane" (think 'Flatland'), gravity is free to wander between branes. What we refer to as dark matter might be the interference effects of gravity caused by the masses on parallel branes. So a new quantum theory of gravity (which we don't have yet anyway) instead of exotic new "stuff"...

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Boffin

Fair enough

Several researchers have been looking to change our theory of gravity, and many more sense there is a paradigms shift coming up, given mismatches between theories and observation. Whether M-theory is the answer is another matter. However, if someone actually finds dark matter (or dark energy for that matter) it would be of great interest. Looking for something predicted by a theory sounds good science, provided you are open to an outcome which rejects your own most cherished theory.

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Silver badge

Could be.

Given that our current theories predict WIMPs or MACHOs, detecting either would be a tick for the current theories.

Not detecting either doesn't say either way of course.

Are there any other predicted consequences of M-theory that we could try to measure?

That's kind of the point of science - if our theory says X, then we'd better try to prove or disprove X.

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Alien

how science works

is if your theory says X, you must prove it. Any disprove, doesn't matter how small part of your theory was disproved, your theory is doomed. If you cannot prove X, then X can be only a theory.

The way religion works, is your religion says X, you have to blindly believe it.

That's separate science and religion, and that's why science works and religion doesn't.

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@D.M

Argh! Please don't say "theory" where you mean "hypothesis".

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Anonymous Coward

Just had a thought.

One might suppose that the missing dark matter isn't dark so much as so far away the light can never reach us. Didn't the effects of gravity manage to go faster than light, (meaning that whatever it is, it is neither light nor matter)?

What effect, if any, would that have on the relevance of this search for WIMPs?

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Pint

nope

at best it's transparent, so transparent that it can go through entire planets, like neutrinos.

Dark matter can be mapped through it's gravitational influence on visible matter, and itself.

basically, anti matter are organised in bubbles around galaxies.

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Anonymous Coward

New icon needed

"Genuine question". Just to warn you that the post isn't strongly worded opinion with no regard whatsoever for facts or reality. And bring back icons for ACs already. Furrfu.

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Silver badge

"basically, anti matter are organised in bubbles around galaxies."

What !

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WTF?

"Didn't the effects of gravity manage to go faster than light"

No.

That's the whole point of General Relativity: Get rid of Newton's infinitely fast action-at-a-distance and replace it by purely local effects - bent spacetime ("matter tells spacetime how to bend, and spacetime tells matter how to move")

Accelerated masses may radiate gravitational waves but these still go only at the fastest speed allowed around here, which as far as everyone knows is exactly equal to the speed of light in a vacuum.

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Headmaster

Crystals

It's tungstate - not tungstenate.

Mine's the one with the volumetric flask in the pocket.

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Go

Didn't the effects of gravity manage to go faster than light?

No, you are thinking of tachyon particles.. But they are out condensing in their fields...

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Anonymous Coward

I choose to opt in on the title thing.

This experiment is delightful. Kudos to all who worked on it. Serious science with big implications carried out in a chamber deep underground and needing years for a handful of results. Program for the future: "Change the crystal Igor, and take off those bronze clamps!"

Where's my agent, I think I've the basis for a modern gothic science horror movie. (You have to have horror in the movie, it's mandatory).

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Megaphone

Yay

Lets have john Carpenter as director.

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