Astronomy

Dark Matter and its Implications



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The Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky first invented the phase “dark matter” in 1934 after an exploration of the missing mass within the universe. In essence dark matter remains invisible, impossible to even touch or see. Continual scientific research focuses around what exactly dark matter is, what its purpose, and how much of space is full with this dark matter. Its discovery leads to changing beliefs about the nature of the very universe itself.

The problem surrounding the missing matter within the universe forces many scientists to question the current astronomical theories about how the universe was formed and ultimately how it will end. Confirming the existence of dark matter remains of key importance in discovering the nature of the universe. Its discovery leads to the view of not only humanities place in the universe, but also the discovery of how the universe functions beyond current scientific comprehension.

Scientists remain convinced that discovering dark matter particles will lead to a new theory of studying the universe. This theory’s aptly named “supersymmetry”.  The basic concept of supersymmetry states that for every type of particle in existence in the universe, another heavier twin linked to the first particle will exist.

The possible existence of dark matter falls into two categories. These include MACHOs and WIMPs. MACHOs (Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Objects) consist primarily of 'ordinary' type matter. This matter connects with strong space objects such as small stars and vast black holes. Baryonic matter defines this type of matter within the scientific and astronomical community.

However WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) exist as weaker subatomic dark matter possibilities. The possibility that dark matter may exist within this ordinary matter or non-baryonic matter forces the debate to continue around the implications of the existence of dark matter. Whether its either WIMPs or MACHOs both astronomers and astrophysicists continue to debate which candidate can possibly lead to the discovery of dark matter.

With the continual work of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) the discovery of dark mater may in fact have become established. The CDMS uses over 30 ultra-cold germanium (chemical element symbol Ge and atomic number 32) silicon based detectors which wait in anticipation for a WIMP to strike the crystals. The location of the CDMS (in a mine-shaft in Minnesota) makes it ideal as it’s naturally shielded from the disturbing cosmic rays that daily hit the earth’s surface. Scientists based at the search facility claim that two WIPS have already struck the germanium crystals sparking an intense vibration amongst the crystals.

Yet dark matter may not exist in isolation. Many scientists believe a family of invisible dark matter particles may remain connected. Each family member of dark matter will play a differing role in the nature of the universe. It’s even possible that the different qualities of dark matter may explain why time travels in one direction. With the successful discovery of dark matter unraveling a more accurate definition of the birth and death of the universe becomes apparent. Changing traditional scientific belief remains the potential for the ultimate discovery of dark matter.


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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.eclipse.net/~cmmiller/DM/
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/dark_matter.html