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Space Science

X Particle Might Explain Dark Matter & Antimatter 285

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-I-got-a-particle-for-you dept.
cold fjord writes "Wired Science has a story on a new theory that tries to explain dark matter, and the balance of regular matter with antimatter. This theory may even be testable. From the article: 'A new hypothetical particle could solve two cosmic mysteries at once: what dark matter is made of, and why there's enough matter for us to exist at all."
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X Particle Might Explain Dark Matter & Antimatter

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  • Re:It's also (Score:4, Informative)

    by Phat_Tony (661117) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @11:03PM (#34496560)
    You beat me.

    I was about to post:

    It can solve two great outstanding problems in physics simultaneously? I nominate that we start calling it "the uncanny x-particle."

  • ArXiv link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @11:14PM (#34496616)
    The paper is also available at the arXiv [arxiv.org] if you don't have a subscription to Phys. Rev. Lett.
  • the paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @11:15PM (#34496618) Homepage
    Why, oh why can't people posting science stories on slashdot post links to the actual papers when they're publicly available? http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.2399 [arxiv.org]
  • Re:Kindof Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:08AM (#34496898) Homepage

    CP violation has already been observed. This theory provides a mechanism whereby it can account for both dark matter and the matter-antimatter imbalance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:46AM (#34497096)

    God damnit, no, it doesn't explain all dark matter. It explains how some antimatter could appear in cosmological equations as dark matter.

    There's a lot of "dark matter" which really isn't all that dark (in the sense of "unknown") anymore. In cosmology, dark matter is just anything with mass which isn't conventionally visible from here. We can ballpark how heavy the universe should be based on the equations we've figured out for how the universe works in our neighborhood. Then we can turn around and observe as much as possible in the way of galaxies and so forth and total up how much mass that should represent. The balance is dark matter - it is no more nor no less mysterious than that.

    We already know what some types of dark matter are. For example, it is hard as hell to get neutrinos show up, but they are probably one of the most abundant things in the universe. As a rule, the only way we can see them is if there are enormous epic-scale bucketloads to the infinity power of them sweeping by us all at once (as there usually are!)...and at that point we catch maybe one neutrino that smacks into an easier-to-observe atomic particle exactly on target (on the scale of the infinitesimally small particles involved). By extrapolation, we reason that the rest of them must be there as well, because we can calculate what the exceedingly minute probability was for the one event that we actually saw.

    Other types...who knows? Maybe the guys referenced in the article are on to something. But it would be a relief if we could actually report the contents of the research rather than making up a bunch of malarkey which just gives people silly ideas about how the universe works. The truth is far stranger, there's no need to make stuff up.

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:14AM (#34497254) Homepage

    The axiom of choice is an axiom, not a theory. Coincidentally, this is why it is not called the theory of choice.

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:59AM (#34497528)

    And String theory doesn't count. It's about as scientific as Astrology.

    A Slashdotter or hundreds of physicists... who's a fellow to believe?

    String theory (variants thereof) conforms to observations as well as any other theory. What's lacking is an observation where the predictions diverge.

    Until such time as such an observation becomes possible, if you want to knock string theory you should argue on the basis of Ockham's Razor, not on perceived parallels with astrology.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:57PM (#34503708) Homepage

    "Dark matter" is not a theory. It is a label for a set of observed phenomena. Galaxies move as though they contained something that does not interact electromagnetically ("dark") but does interact gravitationally ("matter").

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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