Dark Energy Comes To Light
- Dear Colleagues:
Proof is at hand that missing matter is not really missing. Please
read this article as it concerns a topic being discussed on many
science radio broadcasts, including Art Bell (no longer publicly
available) and Dr. Michio Kaku's "Exploration" generally carried on
Tuesday afternoons on FM talk stations is the USA.
Article reprints of the article are available on:
[NEWSPAPER ARTICLE REPRINT]
New evidence on cosmic dark energy
By Keay Davidson
EXAMINER SCIENCE WRITER
New evidence supports the notion that a mysterious dark energy
pervades space and is driving the ever-faster expansion of the
universe, scientists in Berkeley and elsewhere report.
The evidence comes from astronomical observations conducted by a
balloon-borne sensor that flew over Antarctica and scanned the night
sky for 10 consecutive days during the winter of 1998-99.
The device, dubbed BOOMERANG, detected extremely faint variations in
light like glowing waves on the surface of a choppy ocean
large patch of the heavens. The light, known as the cosmic
radiation, is the echo of the Big Bang that spawned our cosmos about
15 billion years ago.
"What we're really seeing is a snapshot of the universe as it was
300,000 years after the Big Bang," said astrophysicist Julian
a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley and
member of the BOOMERANG team.
The variations, sometimes called wrinkles, ripples or anisotropies,
that BOOMERANG detected in the distribution of cosmic background
radiation are thought to reveal density variations in the cosmic fog
that formed soon after the Big Bang.
That fog consisted of wildly careering ions and electrons
of newborn atoms. Particles of light called photons bounced around,
trapped within the cosmic fog.
Eventually the early universe cooled and its density dropped, as the
ions and electrons combined into atoms, the building blocks of
ordinary matter (like the matter in your body).
Thanks to the decreased density of fog, the photons were no longer
trapped. They escaped into space.
Those escaped photons are the light now detected 12 to 15
years later by BOOMERANG's sensors.
"It's very similar to what you see in the Bay Area," Borrill said.
"Often you can't see out to sea bcause of fog, in which sunlight is
bouncing off water droplets. Then the fog lifts and you can see out
BOOMERANG's data strengthen astronomers' growing suspicion that outer
space is full of an invisible dark energy that is continually
accelerating the expansion of the universe. As a result, the
is expanding faster and faster with time, contrary to the old
assumption that it expands more slowly as eons pass.
"We're asking the same questions that people have always asked about
the nature of the universe: Where did it come from? And where is it
going? And what IS it?" Borrill said. "We just now have the
technological capability to ask those questions, in quite an
BOOMERANG stands for Balloon Observations of Millimetric
Radiation and Geophysics.
Besides the Berkeley lab and its neighbor, UC-Berkeley, the BOOMERANG
project employed institutions around the world. The 36 team members
come from 16 universities and organizations in Canada, Italy, the
United Kingdom and the United States. Two other leading institutions
involved are Caltech in Pasadena and the University of Rome in Italy.
"These images represent the ultimate limit of our vision," said
physics Professor Andrew Lange of Caltech. "The enormous structures
that they reveal predate the first star or galaxy in the universe."
The announcement was also greeted by U.S. Energy Secretary Bill
Richardson, whose department bankrolls Lawrence Berkeley.
"From studying our universe to studying the human genome, scientists
are generating incredible amounts of data but it takes the
capabilities of supercomputing facilities such as the Energy
Department's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center to
make sense of and learn from that data," Richardson said.
The scientists flew the balloon over Antarctica during the winter of
1998-99. Its sensors collected astronomical date for 10 1/2 days from
a patch of sky that is about 40 degrees long and 20 degrees wide.
For one thing, the cosmic background radiation is extremely faint and
located in the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Normally, atmospheric moisture blocks detection of infrared radiation
from space. But Antarctica's sky is extremely dry, so it is an
excellent place for studying the cosmic background radiation.
Smoking gun evidence
The radiation was detected in the mid-1960s, quite by accident. It
quickly recognized as smoking gun evidence for the Big Bang theory,
according to which our universe not only matter but space and
themselves formed from a sort of titanic explosion more than 10
billion years ago.
The cosmic background radiation is, in effect, the afterglow of that
Also, the Antarctic circumpolar wind blows around the South Pole.
Hence balloons continue orbiting the South Pole for many days at a
time, greatly extending the duration of observations. By contrast,
balloons launched from elsewhere on Earth say from Texas
drift eastward on breezes; many end up plunking into the Atlantic
In 1992, George Smoot of Lawrence Berkeley and other scientists
reported the first detection of cosmic wrinkles, based on
observations from a space satellite called Cosmic Background
At the time, the Smoot team's discovery was hailed as one of the
greatest findings in the history of astronomy, partly because the
wrinkles indicated that the force of gravity is adequate to explain
how primordial matter accumulated into galaxies.
Now, eight years later, BOOMERANG provides a much higher-resolution
picture of the cosmic wrinkles than did COBE. The features in
BOOMERANG's pictures are about 600 times smaller than those in COBE's
comparatively blurry images.
The existence of something like dark energy, also known as negative
pressure, was proposed in the 1910s by the great physicist Albert
Einstein called it the cosmological constant because he thought it
would keep the cosmos a constant size i.e., prevent it from
expanding. Soon after, astronomers discvered the universe really is
expanding. Embarrassed, Einstein abandoned the idea, calling it the
worst goof of his career.
But now, it appears there is a cosmological constant, or something
like it. If observations by BOOMERANG and ground-based astronomers
are right, then space really is pervaded by it. What creates it?
Probably invisible subatomic energies in the incorrectly named "void"
Physicists have long suspected the existence of such energies, whose
existence is implied by quantum mechanics, the presently preeminent
theory of light, energy and matter.
Wild view of reality
Developed mainly in the 1920s, quantum theory offers a seemingly wild
view of the nature of reality, one in which commonsense notions of
space, time and reality no longer hold.
Yet quantum theory has been repeatedly verified by laboratory
experiments. And its relevance to cosmology has been revealed by the
observations from COBE and, now, BOOMERANG, hovering high in the
winter night over the Antarctic ice.
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- Dear Folks,
A better name would not be "Dark Energy" ... but regular energy,
obscured by thin but large in area barrier... the energy, the photons...
are not "Dark" ... by any means... they are simply obscured. But it
sounds cool to write "Dark Energy".
Accurate names may not sell as much news... which does not lead to
as any advertisement sales.
Also... in some case... accurate words do not make the scientist
sound like he is doing new work.
And the recent mis uses of:
Now if you really want to see some "new" then just re examine
tried and true experiments which may be foundations of modern work. But
examine them in the light of our present more effective instruments or
examine them after the "shock" or new-novel-ness has passed.
The Stern Gerlach experiment was as follows:
A low velocity, or 'thermal-velocity-only' beam of silver atoms is
" launched" ... more accurate would be maybe to say "were allowed to loaf
along in one direction" from a tiny oven with baffles with holes in them
to make this low velocity weak beam of atoms of silver.
Now....this thin column is passed through a magnetic field with a
high gradient ... the idea was though it would leave a smear, to use
Instead it left two spots.
The ONLY conclusion you can reach from this is it made a
separation, and probably this was of spins and their opposites of the
magnetic current loops formed by the electrons' orbits... but no
more...and even this is a maybe.
One cannot infer from this alone that there is quantization as it
is described today... if this were so ... you would get more than two
'spots' ... and even then, what aspect of 'quantisation' causes and Forces
the two spots to be one atop the other?
You might want to mention to the audience of the experiment that
natural silver is nearly 50 50 of two stable isotopes.
You might want to say.. that approaching the gradient part of the
magnet poles the "beam" passes first through a gradient beginning as
waek.. and then more pronounced fringe effects which are weaker at the
top of the beam and are a respectable gradient perpendicular to the main
body of the intent of the experiment.
I am NOT saying this is a 'bad' experiment... I AM saying it may
well be poory interpreted.
I say it is a GREAT experiment ... because it is almost certainly
much deeper than it may appear with one interpretation and on first blush.
- Dear John
> The Stern Gerlach experiment was as follows:You're dead right here! I've no idea what actually happens but nor has
> A low velocity, or 'thermal-velocity-only' beam of silver atoms is
> " launched" ... more accurate would be maybe to say "were allowed to loaf
> along in one direction" from a tiny oven with baffles with holes in them
> to make this low velocity weak beam of atoms of silver.
> Now....this thin column is passed through a magnetic field with a
> high gradient ... the idea was though it would leave a smear, to use
> Feynman's description.
> Instead it left two spots.
> The ONLY conclusion you can reach from this is it made a
> separation, and probably this was of spins and their opposites of the
> magnetic current loops formed by the electrons' orbits... but no
> more...and even this is a maybe.
anyone else, so far as I can see. Trevor Marshall
<http://www.keyinnov.demon.co.uk/antiqm.htm> has his own theory within his
"SED" paradigm. This is probably wrong too. He may not have taken enough
notice of the actual experimental conditions. But the point is that the
idea that the experiment supports QT and "quantisation" is on the level of
pure myth. The Stern-Gerlach experiment has been "repeated" as nauseam as a
thought-experiment but who takes any interest in real ones? Has anyone ever
actually sent a beam through two pairs of S-G magnets in series, or is this
just another of quantum theory's "thought-successes"?
But apparently, the experiment did lead to the invention of nuclear magnetic
resonance! A biographical article recently in Physics World (November 1999,
p 27) told me that Isidor Rabi was inspired by it and went and worked with
Stern for a while, then went on to discover NMR.
> One cannot infer from this alone that there is quantization as itI guess this is what Rabi thought!
> is described today... if this were so ... you would get more than two
> 'spots' ... and even then, what aspect of 'quantisation' causes and Forces
> the two spots to be one atop the other?
> You might want to mention to the audience of the experiment that
> natural silver is nearly 50 50 of two stable isotopes.
> You might want to say.. that approaching the gradient part of the
> magnet poles the "beam" passes first through a gradient beginning as
> waek.. and then more pronounced fringe effects which are weaker at the
> top of the beam and are a respectable gradient perpendicular to the main
> body of the intent of the experiment.
> I am NOT saying this is a 'bad' experiment... I AM saying it may
> well be poory interpreted.
> I say it is a GREAT experiment ... because it is almost certainly
> much deeper than it may appear with one interpretation and on first blush.