Dark Matter

More on the Dark Matter Conjecture

All of the established notions about dark matter say that it has existed since the big bang. A recent study proposes that dark matter may have emerged in a second period of inflation after the initial inflationary period, which occured billionths of a second after the big bang. This idea has been proposed to account for the discrepancy between the theoretical amount of dark matter that should be in the universe and what is believed to be a smaller more accurate amount. You can read the paper here.

How does this square with my conjecture about dark matter that proposes that dark matter is an emergent property of galaxies. Most of the theories about dark matter predict amounts of dark matter which are far greater that what we believe we actually can “see”. However, since we can’t actually “see” dark matter but only indirectly measure its effects; and since we have yet to discover a dark matter field and its associated particle, then it follows we really don’t know if the predictions made by the theories are right or not. Nor do we know if this new proposal makes any sense or not, though there is some evidence that supports it. So my conjecture really isn’t affected by what are mere conjectures as well.

There is yet another proposal out there. This proposal seeks to explain the apparent discrepancy between the mass of a galaxy cluster and its structure. The mass of a galaxy cluster is not able to account for the connection between the galaxy cluster and dark matter. You can read more about the details here; and the actual scientific paper is in the January 25 edition of Physical Review Letters. The basic idea is this: the connection between a galaxy cluster and surrounding dark matter is not characterized solely by the mass of clusters, but also by their formation history.

So how does this proposal affect my conjecture. Again, the authors of the paper are trying to account for the fact that even though galaxy clusters have the same or similar masses, they have quite different structures and they are proposing that the difference may have been caused by how these galaxy clusters interacted with dark matter during their formation. However, once again this assumes that dark matter pre-existed the galaxy clusters. It could be the, as my conjecture proposes, that dark matter emerged from galaxy formation, or in a modification of the conjecture they are products of one another. Or yet another modification could be that dark matter is a byproduct of galaxy formation just as in many exothermic chemical reactions energy in the form of heat is a byproduct.

Simply put, everything that happens in the universe is connected to everything else. Most scientists, physicists specifically, tend to think in reductionist terms. That is, if you can reduce a system down to its constituents parts, you will understand how that system works. However, scientists have known for some time that reductionism does not always work. In fact it can be very misleading. Emergence theory or complexity theory as it is sometimes called has demonstrated that the whole is more often greater than the sum of its parts. Think of the human mind as the most obvious example. The constituent neurons and their many connections can’t by themselves account for intelligence. Or that the biochemistry, which ensues from the individual atoms is vastly different from the atoms themselves. The Aug. 4, 1972 paper by P. W. Anderson, More is Different, is the best paper ever written on the subject.

My conjecture really proposes that we look at the universe and dark matter in particular as a living entity; and that we begin to understand it not solely in terms of the many constituents parts that make it up, but in terms of the relationships and interconnectedness of those parts. This way of thinking is what has led me to believe that galaxies and dark matter have an as yet undiscovered relationship which binds them together in what I metaphorically call a love affair.

So hold on to seats. We are about to take off on a journey to determine if my conjecture holds up to some stringent mathematical scrutiny and if it squares with what we already know about fields and field theory. I promise to make the math easy to understand without sacrificing accuracy and rigor. We will blast off next week with, The Field of Dark Matter.  And I apologize.  I know this was to be the blog with more detail and math on particles and fields, however I got slowed down studying some of the detail on field theory.  And don’t forget to check out Professor Matt Strassler’s articles on particles and fields, which you can find here.

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