• Question: What is your opinion on dark matter? what do you think it is?

    Asked by alexsroupy to Alan, Caspar, Diana, Murray, Sarah on 15 Mar 2011 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Murray Collins

      Murray Collins answered on 14 Mar 2011:

      Hi – a very interesting question, but I really don’t know enough about this area to give you a proper area! Sorry!

    • Photo: Sarah Thomas

      Sarah Thomas answered on 14 Mar 2011:

      I’m sorry to say that I’m not really sure. I know that physicists say that dark matter is a type of matter that exists because of gravitational forces. But it is undetectable by pretty much any means. So they have come up with theories and equations to try to understand it. But I get confused by equations!

      And I wonder, if we can’t really detect it, then it must not be very powerful? I wonder how many other kinds of matter and forces exist that we haven’t discovered yet?

    • Photo: Caspar Addyman

      Caspar Addyman answered on 14 Mar 2011:

      I have absolutely no idea. WIMPS maybe? but whatever it is, dark energy is even more mysterious.

    • Photo: Diana Drennan

      Diana Drennan answered on 15 Mar 2011:

      Dark matter is any nonluminous (“not shiny”) astronomical object or particle that is detected only by its gravitational influence. Some people think that’s really exotic and mysterious and it may yet turn out to be, but examples would include planets and black holes among other things. Think about our own solar system. The sun is the only luminous object, all the other stuff (planets, asteroids, etc) is dark matter. I’ve heard estimates that it makes up anywhere from 20-90% of our known universe — which to me means that we don’t really know how much is out there !

    • Photo: Alan Winfield

      Alan Winfield answered on 15 Mar 2011:

      Well I’m *very* doubtful about dark matter. The problem is that dark matter is something that’s been suggested to exist – it hasn’t actually been discovered. Physicists and astronomers have worked out that there doesn’t seem to be enough stuff in the Universe, so they’ve come up with the theory of dark matter (and dark energy). They think that dark matter is the missing ‘stuff’.

      I think it’s very dubious. Personally I think that it’s more likely that the mathematical model that tells them that there isn’t enough visible (none dark) matter and energy in the universe is wrong.