Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe's Missing Mass and Energy

By Dan Hooper

Everyone is aware that there are issues not anyone can see, for instance, the air you are respiring or a black gap, to be extra unique. yet now not we all know that what we will be able to see makes up basically five percentage of the Universe. the remainder is completely invisible to us.

The invisible stuff is available in varieties—dark subject and darkish strength. One holds the Universe jointly whereas the opposite tears it aside. What those forces particularly are has been a secret for so long as a person has suspected they have been there, however the most recent discoveries of experimental physics have introduced us toward that wisdom. Particle physicist Dan Hooper takes his readers, with wit, grace, and a willing knack for explaining the hardest principles technology has to supply, on a quest few may ever have anticipated: to find what makes up our darkish cosmos.

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By Dan Hooper

Everyone is aware that there are issues not anyone can see, for instance, the air you are respiring or a black gap, to be extra unique. yet now not we all know that what we will be able to see makes up basically five percentage of the Universe. the remainder is completely invisible to us.

The invisible stuff is available in varieties—dark subject and darkish strength. One holds the Universe jointly whereas the opposite tears it aside. What those forces particularly are has been a secret for so long as a person has suspected they have been there, however the most recent discoveries of experimental physics have introduced us toward that wisdom. Particle physicist Dan Hooper takes his readers, with wit, grace, and a willing knack for explaining the hardest principles technology has to supply, on a quest few may ever have anticipated: to find what makes up our darkish cosmos.

Show description

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Calculations express that there might be, on standard, millions of these relic neutrinos in each cubic meter of area within the Universe at the present time. If the relic neutrinos separately had even a truly small volume of mass—roughly a hundred-thousandth the mass of an electron—all of the neutrinos within the Universe jointly might be sufficient to account for the darkish subject. until eventually really lately, notwithstanding, not anyone have been capable of make sure even if the loads of the 3 varieties of neutrino have been sufficiently big to make up the darkish topic. To many theoretical physicists, the easiest and so much based situation was once one during which the neutrinos have been precisely massless, just like the photon. to ensure that neutrinos to dominate the complete mass of the Universe, this argument from beauty must grow to be flawed. but when neutrinos are so tough to monitor and examine, how may perhaps their minuscule lots be measured? • • • 72 DA R okay C O S M O S The solar produces huge, immense numbers of neutrinos as a derivative of the nuclear procedures it continually undergoes. utilizing a detector the scale of a giant swimming pool, buried deep underground in South Dakota’s Homestake Mine, the 1st detection of those sun neutrinos was once made in 1968. however the best results of the scan used to be now not that it detected neutrinos from the solar yet quite that it detected too few neutrinos coming from the solar. in line with the speed at which nuclear fusion occurs within the sunlight, physicists had estimated that the Homestake Mine scan might discover thrice extra neutrinos than it did. there have been 3 attainable recommendations to this challenge. First, the calculations may be fallacious. moment, the scan may have a flaw, inflicting it to overlook out of 3 neutrinos. And 3rd, anything should be taking place to the neutrinos among the sunlight and Earth, inflicting them to vanish or making them tougher to discover. to unravel the matter, the theoretical calculations that estimated the variety of neutrinos produced via the sunlight have been sophisticated, and the experimental apparatus within the Homestake Mine was once more advantageous and tested to verify that the size procedure getting used wouldn't underestimate the variety of neutrinos coming from the sunlight. No major difficulties have been present in both the theoretical or experimental paintings that were performed. whatever else must supply. within the past due Nineteen Eighties and the Nineties, numerous experiments have been conducted to discover an answer to the sun neutrino challenge. even though the result of these experiments looked to be in line with the findings of the Homestake Mine scan, aiding the realization that fewer neutrinos have been attaining Earth from the solar than have been anticipated, many physicists remained a little bit unconvinced. in simple terms in 1998 did the proof develop into very compelling that neutrinos produced within the sunlight have been both now not attaining Earth A DA R ok A N I M A L I N T H E Q UA N T U M ZO O seventy three or have been in some way altering in the course of their trip. It used to be in that 12 months staff of scientists working an scan often called Super-Kamiokande introduced their effects.

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