Dark Matter

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Dark matter mystery 'solved' - again - Aug 28, 2008 at 5:31PM
Felix Lin
24 Posts

This is an interesting article on the New Scientist about a claim to have discovered proof that Dark Matter exists.  I found myself nodding in agreement with this standard of proof: "Extraordinary results require extraordinary evidence."  It would be quite extraordinary if conclusive proof of dark matter were found.

If you're like me, you'll chuckle at hearing that "hunting for dark matter has become extremely popular."  While it's great that there are a lot of particle physicists working on such a fundamental problem, the author's standards are interesting.  She cites "around 30 dark matter experiments around the world."  In a sense I agree, since the last fundamental research issue I worked on involved 3 labs and maybe 10 people around the world total, but I still can't help but wonder how many biologists need to work on a single experimental concern before a biologist would say it was "extremely popular" - I would guess one order of magnitude higher.  At times like this we can't help but be reminded that things are different between the sciences.

That said, it's interesting how the sciences are related - this level of precision in tests was not possible without ultrapure materials, implying that materials science and fabrication had to be up to a certain level before such experiments were possible.


Post edited August 28, 2008 at 5:36 PM EST.

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