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Waspie_Dwarf

Dwarf planet Eris may reveal quantum gravity

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Dwarf planet Eris may reveal quantum gravity

KILLING Pluto was only the beginning. The dwarf planet Eris, named for the Greek goddess of strife, could also bring down the most popular explanations for dark matter and dark energy.

Many galaxies appear to have stronger gravity - and thus more mass - than can be explained by their visible matter alone. Overly massive galaxies are most often attributed to dark matter, an invisible substance that interacts with matter through gravity. To date, though, no one has directly detected dark matter particles.

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Very interesting article. (The published paper the article references is here, the free draft version is here.)

I am not sure about a few of the author's assumptions though.

I like the idea that the quantum vacuum creates gravitational dipoles, but I don't really believe the author's assumption that the gravitational field of the Sun is large enough to completely polarize these gravitational dipoles.

I'm not sure that treating the polarization of quantum vacuum dipoles of gravity (which, although we don't have a full quantum theory yet, we know must be spin-2) the same as that in electromagnetism (which we know is spin-1) - and with only classical arguments to boot - is the right thing to do.

Finally, I think that vacuum polarization means an alignment of virtual particle pair production - so in this case an alignment of positron and electron pairs. In this situation any gravitational polarization would necessarily create electromagnetic polarization as well. But if the entire vacuum of space between the Sun and the Earth is electromagnetically polarized, this would affect the light from the Sun - which doesn't seem to happen, and would certainly be easier to detect then the century-scale precession of the orbit of a small moon around a very distant planet.

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It is too cool to see a couple of scientists working out variables in various forumlae that proport to represent a truth. In reality, the more assumptions that you make, the more likely your hypothesis will fall apart.

Occam's Razor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

I believe "dark matter" is simply an assumption that in time will show no basis for fact. I do believe that what is holding every galaxy together is not dark matter, it is black holes that we have not factored into the total mass of any galaxy.

We all know that black holes were and are formed by stars of a minimum size and above...smaller stars will not develope the temperature nor the mass to form a black hole. Smaller stars that were born just after the big bang will develop into white dwarfs and continue to burn for hundreds of billions of years. Black holes on the other hand form from massive stars and burn its fuel very fast. From birth to super nova can be anywhere from 200,000 years to 20 million years. Over the past 14 billion years, a lot of black holes were formed and just lurk within the galaxies.

I truly believe that one day we will be able to calculate just how many black holes are within a galaxy and what the average size would be. This will once and for all put to end the fantasy debate over dark matter and dark energy.

Galaxies do not fly apart because dark matter is holding them together, they don't fly apart because we have not factored in billions of black holes in each and every galaxy.

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I truly believe that one day we will be able to calculate just how many black holes are within a galaxy and what the average size would be. This will once and for all put to end the fantasy debate over dark matter and dark energy.

Galaxies do not fly apart because dark matter is holding them together, they don't fly apart because we have not factored in billions of black holes in each and every galaxy.

Possibly.

Cosmologists have thought of this, of course.

Some studies of microlensing suggest that around 20% of the ``anomalous mass'' of a galaxy may be black holes or neutron stars. This still leaves 80% of the mass unexplained.

The theory that dark matter is just red, brown, and/or white dwarfs, black holes, and/or neutron stars is not commonly accepted because there aren't enough dwarf stars to account for more than 1% of the ``anomalous mass'', and there isn't enough carbon and nitrogen in the observable Universe (let alone heavier elements) to account for enough supermassive stars to create the necessary mass of black holes.

Further, there are simulations of galaxy formation using a non-MACHO form of dark matter that are in reasonable agreement with observations.

None of this means you are wrong, of course, but there has been a great deal of thought on the issue.

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Is it PC to be calling wee planets Dwarfs?

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None of this means you are wrong, of course, but there has been a great deal of thought on the issue.

I have the impression (which is my way of saying I think I read somewhere but have forgotten the details) that there is reason to believe that the "matter" we are familiar with (protons and neutrons and electrons) cannot be more than a minor part of all the "matter" that exists. It seems it has to do with details of how the Big Bang developed. Anyone able to fill this in?

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I have the impression (which is my way of saying I think I read somewhere but have forgotten the details) that there is reason to believe that the "matter" we are familiar with (protons and neutrons and electrons) cannot be more than a minor part of all the "matter" that exists. It seems it has to do with details of how the Big Bang developed. Anyone able to fill this in?

If the Universe did form from the expansion and cooling of a hot quark-gluon plasma, then from our knowledge of particle physics we can predict what elements would be formed from this process and their relative abundances. (See this article on arXiv, for example).

The ratios of these elements can be estimated by astronomical observations (see arXiv articles here, here, and here, for example) or studying the cosmic microwave background (see arXiv article here, for example), both of which are in reasonable agreement with predictions (although the observed amount of lithium seems to be significantly less than predicted, the other elements seem to be in good agreement with predictions).

Normal baryonic matter interacts with light, and so we should be able to see it (in one part of the spectrum or another).

From observations of galactic rotation curves, gravitational lensing, and temperature distributions we have concluded that there is a lot more mass in the Universe than we can see. (See the wiki)

Because of the apparent success of predicting the abundance of elements from big bang nucleosynthesis and stellar nucleosynthesis we are fairly sure that there weren't a lot of supermassive stars that turned into black holes in the early Universe. (As I mentioned above.)

From all this the general conclusion is that the ``dark matter'' responsible for the additional and unobserved gravitational mass is non-baryonic in nature. This is because baryons, formed from quarks, are electromagnetically interactive and therefore are visible.

So to summarize:

  • There seems to be more gravity in galaxies than can be accounted by what we can see,
  • The baryonic matter that we can see fits with our expectations of how the Universe developed since the Big Bang,
  • It does not seem possible that enough black holes exist to account for the ``invisible gravity'',
  • We have postulated the existence of a non-baryonic source of this gravity and are currently attempting to directly detect it.

There are some decent articles about non-baryonic dark matter on arXiv, try here and here, for example.

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Great question, Frank. You got a few possible answers from the scientific point of view. Now let me give you my layman thoughts as an amateur cosmologist. Before the big bang, there were no atoms with electrons All matter was packed too tight to allow electrons to bond with protons, (3 quarks).

From my reseach, we know that the big bang produced 99% hydrogen atoms and 1% helium atoms. Notice that the hydrogen atom has 1 proton and 1 electron. An electron can only bond with a stable proton or proton/neutron combo. I do not believe that an electron can bond with a "partial" quark, or a cluster of unbalanced quarks. I do believe that this material that formed into atoms was just about 8% of all matter released by the big bang. So where is the other 92%? This is what they call "dark matter". I do believe that this electronless matter is what scientists are looking for. Having no electon shell, it will be very hard to prove. This dark matter does have a tiny bit of gravity, but not like a true atom with an electon shell.

Once all the atoms were created, there was not enough pressure nor tempurature to force these atoms to merge and form larger elements. It was star creation and star death that formed all the elements larger than helium.

(There seems to be more gravity in galaxies than can be accounted by what we can see,)

Correct! I do believe that within a few hundred years, we will be able to calculate our entire Milky Way and determine just how many black holes we need to hold our galaxy together. Once we figure this out, we can calculate other galaxies.

(It does not seem possible that enough black holes exist to account for the ``invisible gravity'',)'

I respect your opinion, but I do believe one day we will figure it out and account for all black holes within any galaxy after several decades of mapping and measuring.

As far as discovering theorical matter, that is a huge stretch, but good luck with that one.

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Planet Eris, wait a second...isn't that where Voltron is from?!

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