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(The Australian)   "Dark Matter" permeates the universe. We can't really observe it, and even if we could, it's not like we have any idea what to do with it. But one man just became $300,000 richer because of it   (theaustralian.com.au) divider line 8
    More: Cool, dark matter, galaxy formation, National University of Ireland, University of Sydney, galaxies, telescopes, astronomy  
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6054 clicks; posted to Geek » on 31 Oct 2012 at 11:27 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-31 11:35:56 AM  
3 votes:

Noah_Tall: An average person sees something that that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it God and they are called superstitious.

A scientist sees something that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it dark matter and they get a prize.


You forgot the follow-up:

The average person then says, "well, that's that. It's all that I, or anyone else, needs to know."

The scientist then says, "well, that's the best I can come up with for now, but I'm going to keep digging around until I can confirm it or find a better explanation."
2012-11-01 03:08:27 AM  
1 votes:

Tricky Chicken: This worked surprisingly well until they tried to predict the orbit of Mercury. Then Newtonian physics failed miserably.


I wouldn't say an error of 600 or so arc seconds per century in the argument of perihelion is a miserable failure.

In all honesty, until you're talking about 25-50% the speed of light Newtonian mechanics continues to give surprisingly accurate answers.

2words1finger: Yeah never mind the fact that scientists basically made up "dark matter" to explain away the inconsistencies between what Relativity says we should observe and what we actually observe. By all means, give the guy a prize instead of admitting that Einstein was probably wrong.

Verisimilitude biatch, do you speak it!


Of course Einstein was wrong, Relativity is a classical field theory where we require a quantum field theory. Now, the manner in which GR is "wrong" and the sense in which you mean "wrong" is similar to equating a 787 dreamliner with the Wright Brothers' flyer because they're both just airplanes.

Lest anyone walk away from your post with the wrong idea (that being that there are giant glaring problems in the Einstein field equations that Evil Scientists are working tirelessly to cover up), here's a dose of reality - In the domain of classical charged particles, the Einstein equations and Maxwell's equations provide the best description ever made of how the world behaves. In the laboratory, experiments have verified all manner of predictions sometimes to extremely high accuracy. On any scale smaller than the galactic, we have no evidence what so ever that would guide a replacement to these theories and a vast array of evidence indicating that things do, in fact, work as they predict to measurable accuracy. Meanwhile, on the galactic scale, the dark matter (which you seem to think we came up with one day while we were high or something) halos posited to exist provide exactly the gravitational field to explain galactic rotation curves, and given the existence of neutrinos a particle which doesn't even feel the weak force is hardly some giant leap of theoretical faith.

I'd also like to remark on how you apparently think that the successor to General Relativity will somehow be completely different from it. In reality, GR makes extremely accurate predictions over an enormous range of parameters, and anything proporting to replace it must reproduce all the correct predictions of GR within that range of parameters - just as GR must reproduce all the correct predictions of Newtonian mechanics in the appropriate limit.
2012-10-31 11:15:31 PM  
1 votes:

ThrobblefootSpectre: jack21221: I have a degree in this stuff you condescending asshole.

Interesting.

jack21221: I can recommend some textbooks for you.

And I would recommend any basic high school science text for you.


Of course you would, because that's as far as you've gotten. You send me to wikipedia and high school texts, I send you to Carroll and Ostlie and Liddle. Liddle is a fairly easy read, and you can pick it up for 23 bucks on Amazon. I strongly recommend you read it.
2012-10-31 02:01:04 PM  
1 votes:

ThrobblefootSpectre: jack21221: 3) Dark matter CAN be and HAS been detected through the gravity it exerts.

I'm not arguing against your main point, nor defending the religious guy, but this statement is somewhat circular reasoning.

Dark matter was hypothesized to explain certain gravitational effects. So using those gravitational effects as evidence of dark matter doesn't sit well. It goes something like this...

Scientist 1: How do you explain effect X?
Scientist 2: Well we have hypothesized cause Z.
Scientist 1: Do you have any evidence of Z?
Scientist 2: Sure, look at this effect X is has.



Scientist 1: How do you explain why there's this puddle in the middle of the floor here. It just rained, but I see no dripping right now, nobody around, and I know there's no plumbing up there.
Scientist 2: Well, there's probably a leak in the roof.
Scientist 1: Do you have any evidence of a leak in the roof?
Scientist 2: Sure, there's a big puddle of water on the floor.


Sure someone could have spilled some water there, but it seems like the most plausible explanation with the available information you have now.

If someone comes by and says, "ya, that was my bad, I'll clean it up", then the scientists throw out the dripping roof theory and go with the "that guy's clumsy."
2012-10-31 12:29:09 PM  
1 votes:

Noah_Tall: A scientist sees something that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it dark matter and they get a prize.


I know you're a troll, but we can detect dark matter indirectly and map it in a way that is scientific, empirical and repeatable.

Let me know when that applies to religion / deities.
2012-10-31 12:17:34 PM  
1 votes:

Noah_Tall: An average person sees something that that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it God and they are called superstitious.

A scientist sees something that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it dark matter and they get a prize.


Early calculations to predict the orbit of the planets were very messy to account for the Earth being the center of the solar system.

Newton came along and with his theories of gravity, the orbital equations became much simpler. As long as you put the Sun in the center of the solar syatem.

This worked surprisingly well until they tried to predict the orbit of Mercury. Then Newtonian physics failed miserably.

Then along comes this Einstein guy and with his equations, we can now predict the motion of Mercury.

Then they realize that there isn't enough matter and energy in the universe to make the equations work on a universal scale.

So we are left with a need for exotic dark matter and dark energy to mae the equations work:
Or perhaps we need a new Einstein/Newton to come up with a better set of equatons.
2012-10-31 12:08:33 PM  
1 votes:

Noah_Tall: An average person sees something that that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it God and they are called superstitious.

A scientist sees something that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it dark matter and they get a prize.


The scientist works under the assumption that their knowledge is incorrect and is constantly seeking to refine or replace it

The 'average person' that you have described (which in no way resembles an actual average person) just uses a safety net for all intellectual pitfalls and sticks god in every gap in understanding that they come across.

One of these two behaviors will enrich the human race the other will stagnate it.
2012-10-31 10:24:52 AM  
1 votes:
An average person sees something that that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it God and they are called superstitious.

A scientist sees something that can't be explained based on their knowledge. Rather than assuming that perhaps their knowledge is incorrect they give credit to an invisible force that fills the universe and can not be detected in any manner. They call it dark matter and they get a prize.
 
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