Dark matter has decreased since the Big Bang: Study

Jan 4, 2017

By Brooks Hays

MOSCOW, Dec. 28 (UPI) — Scientists in Russia have calculated the rate of dark matter decay, explaining the decline of dark matter in the universe since the Big Bang.

Cosmologists and astrophysicists are constantly trying to soothe disagreements between their various models. Often, a fault line between the early and modern universe explains the discrepancies.

Researchers use radiation fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background to explain the evolution of the universe in the wake of the Big Bang. Current models produce problematic variances in the rate of expansion of the universe, as well as the clumping of galaxies in clusters.

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15 comments on “Dark matter has decreased since the Big Bang: Study

  • “They have disappeared, having decayed into neutrinos or hypothetical
    relativistic particles,” Dmitry Gorbunov

    I envy these men and women’s brains. I could not do science like this. it is truly “outside the box”. So much so that there is no box at all.

    I also mistrust these men and women’s brains. I am not comfortable at all with these types of sentences and find an element of fantastical bullshit to their explanations. “hypothetical relativistic particles” sounds dangerously close to horseshit (or actually is horseshit).

    Just because an idea has internal logical consistency does not mean it is observable, reproducible, testable and thus factual. To claim something unseen decays into something hypothetical sounds like woo. Like phlogiston or heaven or claims that “psychic knowledge can’t be used for personal gain” or ghosts have to haunt the area where they were killed… All have some modicum of logic (even if it’s flawed logic) to them. What is most important, though, is that ghosts and psychics and phlogiston can be demonstrated to be incorrect.

    It could certainly be that i am ignorant. It could also be that hypothetical takes on different meaning in this discipline. But, simply to make shit up and then go try to find if it can be jibed up with math is not how my mind works. (again, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong or stupid (I could be both wrong and stupid))….

    Like the 11 plus “dimensions” needed for string “theory” to be correct. Sounds like woo. I guess theoretical thinking is not my forte.

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  • 2
    Cairsley says:

    Hello, Crookedshoes.

    The mathematics of such scientific speculation referred to in this article is far beyond my comprehension, yet I find the report of the said Russian scientists’ hypothetical modeling of decaying dark matter interesting, at least as an indicator of one way in which our understanding of the cosmos may yet be furthered through empirical research. Much of my wariness of such reports as this is directed at the reporter, who in this case seems to have done his job with due sobriety and modesty, but he might have improved his report by mentioning just how little we actually know about dark matter and therefore how tentative the basis of the modeling actually is. All the same, it would, surely, be untoward to cast aspersions on an important part of the scientific process, namely speculating and hypothesizing. But, if you are a mathématicien manqué, I do know what you mean.

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  • “Ordinary matter accounts for just 4.9 percent of the cosmos, while dark energy makes up the remaining 68.3 percent.”

    If energy is not comprised of matter, what else can it be? Spirit? Certainly not.—Will?

    Science, all science, is empirical. That is the point of departure. The scientist has the advantage and the disadvantage of starting from the object; the theoretician always starts there, and they move forward and eventually and inevitably form highly sophisticated theories that are also, unfortunately, no longer connected to that starting-point. The umbilical cord that connects the object in question to its empirical matrix is severed. And no one realizes when or even that this takes place.

    It is imperative that the transition from empirically based observation to speculation, from observation and empirical analysis to speculative theories concerning a thing or things that can no longer be empirically based (at least in the conventional sense) be made with the full awareness of what one is leaving behind in the process. Rarely is this the case. Some time in the future – and this is a prediction – scientists, after suffering much frustration over the non-verifiability of their speculations, will be compelled to consider what human knowledge itself is, and have a more thorough understanding of its precise nature and limits.

    They will have gained sufficient knowledge and sufficient humility, enabling them to recognize the possibility that if someone starts with what is empirically real (space and matter, in time) and then, without considering the issue of the object of inquiry’s necessary subjective aspect, proceeds instead to, as it were, automatically consider the nature of the existence of, say, energy as something divorced from matter (substance), or as something completely immaterial, something “absolutely objective” (an oxymoron), that person does not, cannot, understand what constitutes the nature of either (matter or energy).

    If I am not mistaken (and I may be) the honest and worthy physicist Feynman agrees with me (a non-scientist; in other words, an ignoramus); the idea that pure energy can be said to constitute something real is a questionable idea.

    Dan (Not too distant cousin of Einstein.—True!)

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  • @OP – MOSCOW, Dec. 28 (UPI) — Scientists in Russia have calculated the rate of dark matter decay, explaining the decline of dark matter in the universe since the Big Bang.

    Atoms of normal matter decay in the fusion reactions in stars, causing them to lose mass, as their matter is transformed into energy of erupted from their surfaces as subatomic particles.
    Where all this radiated photonic energy goes is uncertain as it leaves star systems and galaxies.

    Also according Einstein, particles increase in mass as they approach the speed of light, as their relative progression in time slows, in relation to an observer.
    There is much matter accelerated to near light speed as it is dragged toward event horizons and into into black holes.

    So there are indeed some quite strange features of the space-time continuum, which we are yet to understand.

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  • Dan #3
    Jan 5, 2017 at 3:33 am

    If energy is not comprised of matter, what else can it be? Spirit? Certainly not.—Will?

    Hmmmm. That makes about as much sense as asking what “height” is comprised of if not matter. At a very fundamental level we still really don’t understand much about how our universe is constructed. We know it contains “stuff” and that stuff can have properties that can include what we call mass and/or what we call energy. However the amounts of matter and energy that a particular bit of “stuff” contains can’t even be agreed upon by different obervers. What our senses perceive as mass and energy depend on the state of the observer and even the very act of observation.

    However we do know that energy is not mass any more than height is. Some “stuff”, like photons, have energy but no mass although when they collide with other stuff they can cause it to be perceived by us as though the energy got converted into more mass. We can also see the reverse happening, mass into energy, in fission, fusion, matter/antimatter collisions and other ways. We have some very robust equations that allow us to model how much of this works from empirical observations but what exactly is happening at a fundamental level is still almost totally unclear.

    At the very deepest level, which in part gave rise to string theory, we believe that what we observe as particles (electrons, photons, quarks etc) are just ripples in “fields” such as electromagnetic fields, gravitational fields and maybe the Higgs field. We appear to live in a universe that has little or no objective reality. Much of it is subject to the conditions of the observer and even whether or not something gets observed! It maybe that if a tree falls in the forest with no one to observe it it really does make no noise but we can never tell.

    The most extraordinary demonstration of this is the double slit experiment. If individual electrons are fired at a screen, one at a time, through two narrow slits then most people would assume that like bullets the electrons could only hit the screen directly behind one or other of the slits in a straight line from the source. However they actually hit the screen all over the place and in time if you fire enough of them it builds up into a wave pattern with light and dark interference bands. BUT if you set up a detector by one of the slits which records for each electron whether it went through that slit or not (if not it must have gone through the other slit) Then the wave pattern never appears. You just gets two lines of impact behind each of the slits like bullets would travel. How do the electrons know they are being observed? No one knows.

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  • Akrid

    I know you guys are far in front of my understanding and hope you don’t mind me asking what might seem like a simple question to you..

    As a fault finding electrician, I could never accept that electrons know they are being observed. I can however, accept that the detector was s somehow corrupting/effecting the result directly. A small magnetic field maybe? I may be just that I am not understanding what observer actually means.

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  • In the context of quantum mechanics an observer, or observation, means any measurement that collapses the particle’s eigenstate wave function by trying to pin down its position or momentum. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that the more accurately one is known the less accurately the other can be known.

    It’s also been said that anyone who thinks they understand Quantum Mechanics doesn’t really get it so I wouldn’t fret about it too much. It’s essentially incomprehensible at present.

    The ultimate test, or quandary perhaps, of wave function collapse is in connection with Quantum Entanglement whereby measuring something about one particle appears to instantly determine the condition of another entangled particle no matter how far apart they are and regardless of the speed of light limit. Einstein refused to believe it was possible and called it “spooky action at a distance” and with Podolsky and Rosen published a paper saying it couldn’t happen. In 1964 Bell formulated a theorem about how some of this could be tested theoretically but knew of no way to actually do it. Later on various ways were found of testing it and it does indeed appear to take place. Somehow observing one thing instantly determines, or collapses the wave function, of another no matter where they are.

    As regards electrons flowing down a wire, when you have a very large number of particles doing a particular thing they obey comprehensible laws which on average can be represented by normal functions such as resistance, current, voltage etc. When you start looking at one particle at a time, or a very few, things get more complicated. Feynman I think it was postulated a theory that there might actually just be a single electron in our entire universe and anytime anyone observes an electron, or the effects of electrons or electricity, it’s just this single electron popping up all over the place trying to be all the electrons that every atom in the universe has in its electron shell.

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  • Cairsley,
    Point taken. But, man it makes me feel ” in the dark” (pun intended) when I realize that this research has roots and derivatives and meaning…. because to me (again, no mathematician at all), it is crazy sounding. I did give it a read, though, and like you, find it almost irresistibly interesting. Also, humbling when I realize the minds at work on these issues. I wonder if these folks see the world in a different (re. better) way than me? I am jealous!

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  • Dark matter and dark energy are simply handles put on two phenomena which we have not the slightest understanding of at the moment. One was called “matter” because it appears to have gravitational properties and the other “energy” because it does not. They might just as well have been called Unexplained Thing A and Unexplained Thing B.

    They might well turn out to be the effects of fields which we have not yet discovered or of multiple dimensions which do not otherwise affect the 4 dimensional space time we observe with our limited senses.

    However, it is not necessary to understand something fully to model it if it obeys rules that can be quantified. We still do not really understand gravity or which boson if any carries it but we can model its effects very accurately. Hopefully more work on the Higgs boson will determine if it is indeed the gravitational boson and if a Higgs field exists which creates them.

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  • Arkrid 5

    That makes about as much sense as asking what “height” is comprised of if not matter.

    Thank you, Arkrid. Agreed. Both questions are highly sensible ones. But my precise point, if it wasn’t clear, was that energy must be either matter or nothing. Height (extension in space) divorced from matter is nothing either. Just a word. Height is extended matter. Extension without anything extended is an empty abstraction.

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  • Dan #10
    Jan 5, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Ok, I think I see where you’re going now but I could be wrong. If you’re defining “nothing” as anything that doesn’t have mass then you’ve created a self fulfilling argument because you only leave those two possibilities. I wouldn’t agree that mass and nothing are the only two possible states of being though. What exactly “nothing” is has been debated extensively as well including whether our universe really sprang from nothing. Generally if a system or space contains energy in any form then it can’t be nothing by most definitions.

    I’m not sure there is any fully accepted definition of what energy is but I could venture that it represents a change in state, or potential change in state, of something with mass. That could mean the mass acquiring velocity, temperature, a change in its position with respect to another mass or an actual gain or loss of its mass. So no it’s not tangible but I wouldn’t say it is nothing either.

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  • Arkrid

    “Energy in any form”.

    Do you see how you have unwittingly expressed agreement with my premise? Form. Form without matter definitely does not exist. So language itself supports the premise too; if there is a “form of energy” it must be material.

    “Change in a state”. The same remark (stated above) applies. All changes of states are changes of states of matter. And all change is in time; a change of a state of matter in time implies the existence of a subject and the existence of matter.

    “I wouldn’t agree that mass and nothing are the only two possible states of being…”

    I would like to express this a bit differently. I was imprecise. I do not say that energy is nothing. Nothingness is inconceivable. So is infinity. Nor do I say that energy is necessarily matter. I am questioning the idea that it is neither, or that it is something other than nothing or matter.

    Perhaps energy is formless and immaterial and does not change. (Sarcasm.)

    I am just raising a question, Arkrid. I am aware that the subject of energy is enormously complex. I am not a physicist; I am just posing a question.

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  • Arkrid

    We still do not really understand gravity…

    I read this line of yours, and then proceeded to spend about forty-five minutes thinking about gravity. I was trying to figure it out. (Doesn’t hurt to try.) I got about this far: I succeeded in removing from my mind the word, the sound, the concept. All I had left was images of things falling through space to the earth. “Why do they do that”? I asked, hoping to come up with something. I then thought about what some people are now saying about consciousness, that it may not exist. Maybe gravity doesn’t exist either, and the real question is not “what is gravity?” but something else. That’s as far as I got: precisely nowhere. And I do think consciousness exists and I do think that gravity is a real force.

    So much for that; I thought I’d get lucky.

    Gravity is certainly a fascinating issue.

    I agree that energy is not tangible and not nothing. (There are many types of energy, and the word is used to express many things. Do they all have one thing in common? Probably not.) Interesting how close science and metaphysics can get to each other.—At least that is how it seems to me.

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  • Roedy #14
    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    How do you tell dark matter apart from low-temperature matter?

    A very good question, as we do not only not know the the list of items of “low temperature – (difficult to see) matter”, but every time we upgrade the resolution of our telescopes, we vastly increase the count of the number of shining bright stars in our own galaxy! – Doubling and doubling again, the visible quantity of this extremely high-temperature visible matter!

    @OP – “Ordinary matter accounts for just 4.9 percent of the cosmos, while dark energy makes up the remaining 68.3 percent.”

    That does make numbers like these estimates, rather suspect!

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