back to article Ancient fat black holes created by belching Big Bang's dark matter

The largest and oldest supermassive black holes were created from a giant clump of dark matter and gas after the Big Bang, according to a supercomputer simulation. Supermassive black holes have long been a mystery to the world's eggheads. It’s a puzzle how the gigantic voids over 13 billion light years away – and date back to …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    So...

    The scientists used industrial magic to calculate the velocities of something that can't be seen; deducing thereby that the stuff that can't be seen clumped together into something else that can't be seen, which promptly collapsed into a third thing that can't be seen?

    Truly we live in an age of wonder.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: So...

      As someone that specialized in experimental design, models & their validation... Yeah, that's about right.

    2. Mad Mike

      Re: So...

      Long and short of it.......they haven't got a scoobies.

      Next, they'll be telling us that the silver surfer was born there.

      When something contains so many assumptions and guesses, it's basically just rubbish. After all, they haven't really got a clue what dark matter is, how it interacts or even if it actually exists. Yet, they're making predictions about what it does?

      1. Naselus

        Re: So...

        " they haven't really got a clue what dark matter is"

        Nonsense, they know exactly what Dark Matter is. It's the thing which conveniently resolves all equations that otherwise don't add up. Kinda like a physicist version of Unobtainium.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: So...

          "Nonsense, they know exactly what Dark Matter is. It's the thing which conveniently resolves all equations that otherwise don't add up. Kinda like a physicist version of Unobtainium."

          It's the matter that's required to make any of their calculations work when they don't currently. I always thought dark matter was actually glitter. After all, it was around once and then everywhere you look, it keeps cropping up in the most odd of places years later. Even a good hoovering won't get rid of it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So...

            The generally critical/sceptical nature of the comments in this 'So...' thread (so far, as I write this) are sort of understandable because the hypothesis we're talking about depends so strongly upon something we can't prove to be true and only really understand in terms of it being an anomaly i.e. Dark Matter.

            The trouble with this attitude though, is that if we don't try out different plausible hypotheses then how else are we going to find answers? Should we simply label that aspect of the universe and physics as "There be dragons", no longer even try to understand it and just leave it at that?

            1. handleoclast Silver badge

              Re: "There be dragons"

              Dark dragons.

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

                Re: "There be dragons"

                Trying to find the big dark:

                How the Hidden Higgs Could Reveal Our Universe’s Dark Sector

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: So...

              "the hypothesis we're talking about depends so strongly upon something we can't prove to be true"

              Or prove to be false?

              It used to be the case that science proceeded by making empirically testable hypotheses and testing them, discarding the duds and retaining the not-yet-proven-to-be-duds. Now we seem to be proceeding by only hypothetically testing hypotheses.

              It's the white one with a big ferric chloride stain.

  2. Byz

    Err...

    It's a hypothesis not a theory

  3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    dark matter, black hole?

    But don't two darks make a white?

    1. Truckle The Uncivil

      Re: dark matter, black hole?

      No, but two whites can make a dark if the phase is right.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: dark matter, black hole?

        I use whites to make meringue - but maybe thats just me . . .

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "mega space voids"

    I prefer "spherical trash compactors"

  5. Milton Silver badge

    Scepticism IS science

    Answering some of the more dismissive remarks here, I'd suggest it's fine to be sceptical given that when you come down to it, that is the very essence of science: for every hypothesis there must ultimately be some solid evidence, testability and predictive power before it becomes a theory we can put some trust in. Cosmologists do seem to be willing to challenge each others' hypotheses: it's just that dark matter (and dark energy) are currently the least implausible models for explaining the universe's "missing" mass—and whatever is causing it still to expand. And we do have conceivable candidate particles for dark matter, such as neutrinos, though there may be others the Standard Model hasn't yet identified.

    But yes, there are alternatives, even those considered a little outre like MOND. Seems to me it is quite right for scientists to offer their hypotheses and bash away at them to see what fits the observed facts and what doesn't. I confess I'm a teensy bit worried about "dark" - this and -that because of the lack of evidence and the obvious worry that it's a bit easy to say "And then we invent something to fill the gaps" ... but the fact that we can't prove it yet doesn't mean it ain't true.

    And for anyone who's paying attention, we probably have a long road ahead, given that the universe of cosmology and physics generally is still beset by unsolved questions, curiosities and outright weirdness, whether it's entanglement, the Koide equation, proton decay (where is it?) or vacuum energy and the Cosmological Constant. Argument fuelled by healthy scepticism is necessary, as is the willingness to correct blunders.

    Bear in mind, for just one example, that for some years in the late 30s it was believed that what we now call a muon (which is an elementary lepton, kinda chubby electron) was a meson (a two-quark hadron). This was a mistake and took time for science, by theory and experiment, to fix it. But it was fixed. Science is a healthy process, so let's keep the ideas and challenges flowing.

  6. Barry Mahon

    Yep, too many known unknowns, so, theories are the flavour of week. Good, we need thinkers not skeptics.

  7. Farnet

    Ancient fat black hole

    Sorry I cant resist....

    can we name it Donald Trump, as he also seems to be able to bend everything towards him, especially the truth

    I think probably 3 down-votes from the normal chest thumping republicans.... we all know who you are :-)

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