A 4D dark matter distribution map.
This four-dimensional map offers a look at the web-like large-scale distribution of dark matter, the invisible form of matter which accounts for most of our observable universe’s mass. The map stretches halfway back in time to the beginning of the universe. The dark matter distribution was mapped with Hubble Space Telescope’s largest ever survey of the universe, the Cosmic Evolution Survey (“COSMOS”).
[Top] – Three slices through the evolving distribution of dark matter in the universe.
[Bottom] – When the slices across the universe and back into time are combined, they make a four-dimensional map of dark matter in the universe.
The three axes of the box correspond to sky position (in right ascension and declination), and [ distance from the Earth | time ago ] increasing from left to right.
Note how the clumping of the dark matter becomes more pronounced, moving right to left across the volume map, from the early universe (right) to the more recent universe (left).
ONLY 4% OF OUR UNIVERSE CONTAINS LUMINOUS (VISIBLE) MATTER.
THE REST IS "DARK MATTER", "DARK ENERGY".
ABOVE: A ‘Strong Gravitational Lensing: How It Works’ diagram.
(source, including one-click access to a full-size diagram version »
Similar evidence arises from the way that galaxies appear to move around their galactic cluster’s centre of mass; and from gravitational lensing – the way that the mass of a galaxy cluster curves its local spacetime, distorting the images of galaxies which lie beyond in line-of-sight from Earth.
COULD ENTANGLED PHOTONS BE DARK MATTER?
It's a mystery that presented itself unexpectedly: The radioactive decay of some elements sitting quietly in laboratories on Earth seemed to be influenced by activities inside the sun, 93 million miles away.
WHATEVER IT WAS, IT CHANGED THE RATE OF RADIOACTIVE DECAY.
Is this possible?
POSSIBLE OR NOT, IT HAS HAPPENED, BUT NO ONE HAS DETERMINED HOW OR WHAT CAUSES IT.
SOME ARE SUGGESTING WHAT THEY HAVE DUBBED "THE FIFTH FORCE" __ SOMETHING THEY ARE CALLING "DARK PHOTONS".
MAY 26, 2016
"There are currently four identified forces of nature: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear, but they do not interact with each other in ways that can be explained by the current mathematical model of the universe.
So scientists had been looking for evidence of a fifth force, which would go some way to explaining the discrepancy.
Scientists at the Hungarian Academy of Science's Institute for Nuclear Research were looking for evidence of dark photons — a force which they surmised could carry and therefore explain DARK MATTER.
They had been shooting protons at a strip of lithium, and in doing so created an unexpectedly high number of subatomic particles.
They think this anomaly in radioactive decay could be the result of an entirely new particle, which may suggest the presence of a fifth force.
Geraint Lewis, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Sydney, said this could explain discrepancies in the way the four previously known forces interact.
"What we have at the moment is what's known as the standard model of particle physics, and this is a mathematical description of the way the universe works," Professor Lewis said.
The particle physics model works "really, really well" to describe and explain three of the fundamental forces — electromagnetic, strong nuclear and weak nuclear.
"But what we also know is that those forces don't play well with gravity.
Gravity is described by a completely different set of mathematics and people have tried for almost 100 years to make these forces work together."
Professor Lewis said this could build upon the work that occupied Albert Einstein in his last years.
"The story goes that Einstein on his deathbed was still working on uniting gravity and electromagnetism.
The problem we have is the mathematics worked really well and we don't have many clues pointing to how we should, well even WHERE we should look to unite gravity with these other forces," he said.
If physicists are able to unite these forces it may lead to a better understanding of dark matter, which they now understand to make up a significant part of the universe.
"So people are looking for anomalies, things that don't fit. Parts of physics that aren't working the way we expect to sort of give us a clue on what areas we should focus upon," Professor Lewis said.
In this latest experiment, the researchers were "not quite getting what they're expecting" which could point to the existence of other forces yet to be accounted for.
What this new force might actually do is another black hole of knowledge.
"What it's telling us if it is correct is that there is something going on in the way that one particle talks to another particle that we haven't got inside our mathematics at the moment," Lewis said.
"So it's a force as we now understand forces to be. It's doing something that we currently don't expect the other forces to do."
"There's been some recent results of the Large Hadron Collider where there's been possibly a hint of a detection and people are all over that trying to understand if that also is pointing to a new area of physics we should be investigating."
HOW IT ALL BEGAN, AND THE THEORY THAT THE UNKNOWN CAUSE OF THE ANOMALY COMES FROM OUR OWN SUN...
The story begins, in a sense, in classrooms around the world, where students are taught that the rate of decay of a specific radioactive material is a constant. This concept is relied upon, for example, when anthropologists use carbon-14 to date ancient artifacts and when doctors determine the proper dose of radioactivity to treat a cancer patient.
Ephraim Fischbach, a physics professor at Purdue, was looking into the rate of radioactive decay of several isotopes as a possible source of random numbers generated without any human input. (A lump of radioactive cesium-137, for example, may decay at a steady rate overall, but individual atoms within the lump will decay in an unpredictable, random pattern. Thus the timing of the random ticks of a Geiger counter placed near the cesium might be used to generate random numbers.)
As the researchers pored through published data on specific isotopes, they found disagreement in the measured decay rates – odd for supposed physical constants.
Checking data collected at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island and the Federal Physical and Technical Institute in Germany, they came across something even more surprising: long-term observation of the decay rate of silicon-32 and radium-226 seemed to show a small seasonal variation.
The decay rate was ever so slightly faster in winter than in summer.
Was this fluctuation real, or was it merely a glitch in the equipment used to measure the decay, induced by the change of seasons, with the accompanying changes in temperature and humidity?
"Everyone thought it must be due to experimental mistakes, because we're all brought up to believe that decay rates are constant," Sturrock said.
On Dec 13, 2006, the sun itself provided a crucial clue, when a solar flare sent a stream of particles and radiation toward Earth.
Purdue nuclear engineer Jere Jenkins, while measuring the decay rate of manganese-54, a short-lived isotope used in medical diagnostics, noticed that the rate dropped slightly during the flare, a decrease that started about a day and a half before the flare.
If this apparent relationship between flares and decay rates proves true, it could lead to a method of predicting solar flares prior to their occurrence, which could help prevent damage to satellites and electric grids, as well as save the lives of astronauts in space.
The decay-rate aberrations that Jenkins noticed occurred during the middle of the night in Indiana – meaning that something produced by the sun had traveled all the way through the Earth to reach Jenkins' detectors.
What could the flare send forth that could have such an effect?
Jenkins and Fischbach guessed that the culprits in this bit of decay-rate mischief were probably solar neutrinos, the almost weightless particles famous for flying at almost the speed of light through the physical world – humans, rocks, oceans or planets – with virtually no interaction with anything.
Then, in a series of papers published in Astroparticle Physics, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research and Space Science Reviews, Jenkins, Fischbach and their [THAT IS A PDF FILE, DOWNLOADS INSTANTLY] colleagues showed that the observed variations in decay rates were highly unlikely to have come from environmental influences on the detection systems.
Their findings strengthened the argument that the strange swings in decay rates were caused by neutrinos from the sun.
The swings seemed to be in sync with the Earth's elliptical orbit, with the decay rates oscillating as the Earth came closer to the sun (where it would be exposed to more neutrinos) and then moving away.
So there was good reason to suspect the sun, but could it be proved?
Enter Peter Sturrock, Stanford professor emeritus of applied physics and an expert on the inner workings of the sun.
While on a visit to the National Solar Observatory in Arizona, Sturrock was handed copies of the scientific journal articles written by the Purdue researchers.
Sturrock knew from long experience that the intensity of the barrage of neutrinos the sun continuously sends racing toward Earth varies on a regular basis as the sun itself revolves and shows a different face, like a slower version of the revolving light on a police car.
His advice to Purdue: Look for evidence that the changes in radioactive decay on Earth vary with the rotation of the sun.
"That's what I suggested. And that's what we have done."
Going back to take another look at the decay data from the Brookhaven lab, the researchers found a recurring pattern of 33 days.
It was a bit of a surprise, given that most solar observations show a pattern of about 28 days – the rotation rate of the surface of the sun.
The core of the sun – where nuclear reactions produce neutrinos – apparently spins more slowly than the surface we see.
"It may seem counter-intuitive, but it looks as if the core rotates more slowly than the rest of the sun," Sturrock said.
All of the evidence points toward a conclusion that the sun is "communicating" with radioactive isotopes on Earth, said Fischbach.
But there's one rather large question left unanswered. No one knows how neutrinos could interact with radioactive materials to change their rate of decay.
"It doesn't make sense according to conventional ideas," Fischbach said.
Jenkins whimsically added, "What we're suggesting is that something that doesn't really interact with anything is changing something that can't be changed."
"It's an effect that no one yet understands," agreed Sturrock.
"Theorists are starting to say, 'What's going on?'
But that's what the evidence points to. It's a challenge for the physicists and a challenge for the solar people too."
If the mystery particle is not a neutrino, "It would have to be something we don't know about, an unknown particle that is also emitted by the sun and has this effect, and that would be even more remarkable," Sturrock said.
"The Net Advance of Physics: VARIABILITY OF NUCLEAR DECAY RATES". maintains a collection of research papers on the GSI K-Capture Anomaly for anyone interested in this and who wants more information.
That site has a massive database.
And now we must all await the proof of any theory of why our earth's radioactive particles are behaving completely contrary to the "laws of Physics".
Are we moving through some new area of the universe on our very long orbit within it, an area that contains hitherto unknown substances that will change EVERYTHING?
Or is our sun dying sooner than we expected and emitting some new thing as part of the death cycle?
Or has something from afar off moved nearer to us and created this anomaly?
OR, has man himself, via the devices such as the Large Hadron Collider created something we shouldn't have, something that is changing everything?
We just don't know....but we need to know.
SOME HAVE WONDERED IF SCIENTISTS REALLY DO ALREADY KNOW AND JUST AREN'T SAYING, IF PERHAPS THAT IS THE REASON FOR THE SUDDEN MAD SCRAMBLE TO FIND A WAY TO LIVE ON MARS, OR FIND A HABITABLE PLANET NEAR ENOUGH TO EARTH THAT WE COULD FEASIBLY REACH TO SEND A FEW PEOPLE THERE WHO WOULD CONTINUE OUR SPECIES.
IS IT SOMETHING THAT IS INCOMING WHICH SENT OUR MILITARY AND OTHER AGENCIES BACK DEEP UNDERGROUND, MADE THE 'ELITE' INVEST IN UNDERGROUND SHELTERS SUDDENLY, BURY THAT SEED VAULT DEEP BENEATH ICE?
NOT KNOWING, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT, HOW TO PREPARE, OR IF THERE IS ANY POINT IN ANY OF IT.