Thursday, April 30, 2015

dark energy??

Dark matter, represented by blue, pulled things together.

This blog focuses on nature's minutia, the small, trifling, yet, fascinating little things; the strands in the overall web.

But occasionally it's nice to look at the web itself and have our minds blown—a term originating in 1966 when a lot of minds were being blown. Let's spend a little time looking up at the big picture.

In the January issue of National Geographic, Timothy Ferris writes, "After decades of research involving new and better telescopes, light detectors, and computers, cosmologists can now state with some assurance that the universe was born 13 billion, 820 million years ago, most likely as a bubble of space smaller than an atom...

"But they have also concluded that all the stars and galaxies they see in the sky make up only 5 percent of the observable universe. The invisible majority consists of 27 percent dark matter and 68 percent dark energy. Both of them are mysteries." 

Dark matter is an unseeable force that pulls matter together through gravity into stars, galaxies, clusters. It slowed the initial expansion of the universe. Then roughly 9 billion years ago a force dubbed "dark energy" appeared, essentially anti-gravity, and the expansion accelerated again. So much so that in time, everything not in our own galaxy may be too distant to see, flying off into the darkness.

So, from a cosmologist's point of view, dark matter pulls bodies together, dark energy drives them apart. And where did the dark energy come from since it wasn't there in the beginning? 

Good question.

If I could answer that I'd win the Nobel Prize in Physics.

There are days that I feel like I am being controlled by dark energy and I am flying apart.

Listen carefully. KAPOW! 

That's the sound of my mind being blown. 

No comments: