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Science from the Soap Box


the dark stuff

We're gonna cut this one short and get right to the point.

Remember reading the last article about black holes and proto-stars?  Do you recall how I banged on endlessly about how stupid it is to read into shit when you can't see said shit?  Well, here's another example where if you can't see shit then that shit, the shit we believe must be there, has gotta be some cRaZy MyStiCaL shit.

Gawd [sigh] this is getting old.  Anyway...

It absolutely kills me to say this but sometimes our best and most expensive research endeavors end up as snipe hunts.  The scientific community won't let the Higg's Boson go and there is no dissuading them from continuing to puke billions into the effort.  Then there's the hunt for dark matter and dark energy, and the interesting thing about those two is that one is stupidly-obviously real and the other isn't so obviously not real. 

Dark matter is the easy one because it does exists—and it's not the mystical shit we thought it was.  It absolutely thrills me to no end that there are sane minds prevailing on this one because for awhile there I thought there was a collective drop in I.Q. for the majority members of the astrophysics kibbutz.  Amongst this new crowd dark matter is now being seen for what it was all along...stuff.

This stuff is cold, diffuse, non-radiant (i.e. dark) and there's lots of it out there.  Everyday garden variety stuff.  You know H, He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, and so on.  It is believable, utterly logical in fact, to think we have maybe a thousand times the stuff we see out there.  More even?

I'm not going to beat this one up because it would be a futile exercise.  Simple stupid-obvious may have won the day and that's a plus in my book!  The KISS mantra works for me...

Dark energy is the problem child here, the force believed to be pulling the universe apart, but nothing can be further from the truth.  When you hear scientists talk about the mysterious wiggly-wobbly "dark energy" you'd think they were talking about Mbundu zombie powder!

I'm not going to use caps-lock here.  What's the point?  SHOUTING at morons just gets you a collective confused look, and scientists are not morons, but they might as well be when they get stuck on an idea they can't shake.  So, I'm gonna talk to you...the non-astrophysicists.

Dark energy is nothing, plain and simple, and that's why it's so damned powerful.  Well, actually, nothingness has no power whatsoever but it's the somethingness, the stuff wanting to occupy that nothingness, that's pulling the universe apart.  Okay, things are not 'pulling apart' per se, the opposite is happening with universal expansion.  That is, dark energy is best compared to the old saying "nature abhors a vacuum" because that is what's really going on here!

The universe is expanding at the speed of light and is creating a vacua energy footprint that is growing in ever so bigger chunks every second.  Vacua energy is a non-energy, nothingness in fact, but since we see the universe flying apart like it is we declare that a "dark energy" must be to blame.  See the problem here?

When people see a problem they tend to pull an answer out of their ass and say, "There, that's the answer!  Let's go prove it!"

It is impossible to demonstrate and prove an affirmative force when nothing is there—when nothing is the answer.  When it's the power of the something (i.e. matter) driving itself into the nothing that creates the phenomena we see as dark energy.

Like gravity, dark energy is the same kinda nothin'... 

nicholas ralph baum
August 3, 2011

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