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Space Observatory May Have Found Dark Matter

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the of-course-it-supports-their-own-model dept.

Space 145

KentuckyFC writes to mention that new data from the orbiting observatory PAMELA may shed some additional light on the question of dark matter. Still only a preliminary announcement, the new findings apparently support the "Minimal Dark Matter" model, in which a particle called a "Wino" is responsible.

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How dark? (5, Funny)

kauttapiste (633236) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830437)

How much darker could this matter be?

The answer is none. None more darker.

Re:How dark? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830511)

But it's only half as dark as Wesley Snipes.

Re:How dark? (5, Funny)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830639)

If they keep shedding light on dark matter, it's not going to remain dark for long.

Re:How dark? (3, Funny)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830819)

The bigger question: why does this matter? Quit leaving me in the dark!

Re:How dark? (3, Funny)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831543)

Just so you guys don't have to stop joking, the actual particles making up dark matter are called either WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) or WINOs.

We're not quite sure what the difference is though, or even if they care. The democratic convention was underway so they were all unavailable for comments.

Re:How dark? (2, Funny)

shokk (187512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831215)

Dare we dream - dark aluminum?!?

Re:How dark? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833665)

>How much darker could this matter be?

>The answer is none. None more darker.

The matter inside the back of Ursus Major is much, much darker.

Blame those who can't answer back (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830453)

Thats right, when you can't find the real reason blame those too drunk to respond.

Winos are not responsible for every single badass event in the universe you know.
It could just as easily have been this Pamela woman.

Re:Blame those who can't answer back (1)

pcnetworx1 (873075) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830615)

Yet, upon further examination by the Arecibo radio telescope, an excerpt of audio in a continous loop is being transmitted from the area. It contains the following messsage: "What's the word? Thunderbird!"

Re:Blame those who can't answer back (1)

StonedYoda47 (732257) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831107)

Yet, upon further examination by the Arecibo radio telescope, an excerpt of audio in a continous loop is being transmitted from the area. It contains the following messsage: "What's the word? Thunderbird!"

Humans have sent back the response, "How's it sold?". We all anxiously await the answer to one of life's mysteries.

A wino? (4, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830457)

So it gets drunk on dark energy , trips over a neutrino and falls down a black hole where no one can see it?

Re:A wino? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830527)

One time I saw a wino eating matter before a galaxy collision with another galaxy

I was like "dude, you have to wait"

Re:A wino? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830645)

lol pmg Mitch Hedberg

Re:A wino? (4, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830681)

Perhaps that could also prove Hawking radiation. Winos get drunk and then eat too much, and then emit Hawking radiation all over the nearest park bench.

Re:A wino? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830669)

Yes. Typically into a space-gutter.

Re:A wino? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830961)

Yup, Amy 'Wino' Winehouse - heard her hit 'Back to Black' in which she discusses the nature of dark matter?

Re:A wino? (-1, Offtopic)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830997)

falls down a black hole where no one can see it

The observatory IS called PAMELA after all...

I for one (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830463)

umm...dark overlords at the center of the galaxy be welcomed!

Was it found in a teenagers bedroom? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830493)

Need i say more.

Again? (4, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830525)

I very often see articles saying the Dark Matter is found. This has been going on for years already. Articles titled "Dark Matter Found". But later another article pops up again saying "Dark Matter Found" and it'll have a totally different explanation, be it some new particle type, some mathematical construct, something that says that in fact it doesn't exist and it's another effect, or again another particle type. So basically, they just don't know?

Re:Again? (3, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830617)

Welcome to the world of sensationalist media.

Re:Again? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830747)

This just in! Space observatory may have found god! We'll have more at 11, from Box News, im Silly O'really to bring you the most fair and balanced sensasionalism n...nee...what is that? i can't read that! I CAN'T READ THAT! THERE's NO WORDS ON IT! Ok, ok FINE! FRACK IT! WE'LL DO IT LIVE! WE'LL DO IT LIVE!!1!1

Re:Again? (4, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831511)

This is the grown-up internet. You're allowed to say "fuck" here.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24833709)

This is the grown-up internet. You're allowed to say "fuck" here.

And as soon as you do you turn into a teeny bopper who has a very limited vocabulary consisting of mainly swear words.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24833901)

Agreed. I always thought that it was a sign of growing up that you swear less.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24834093)

Indeed. I am fucking on your lawn!

Re:Again? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24834265)

Uh, yeah. That makes perfect sense.

The only way to avoid becoming a teenybopper is to misquote people who swear forever!

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24834409)

Fuck obscenities!

Re:Again? (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832501)

Welcome to the world of sensationalist media.

Yeah but this is /. -- that kind of sensationalist attention-grabbing headline removed from the reality of the actual story would never happen around here ;)

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24830817)

It's the same as everything else. Red meat is good for you, red meat is bad for you. Wine, eggs, bacon, milk, etc. In another 5 or 10 years there will be great debate about the extent of man's responsibility for global cooling. Al Gore will have no comment.

Re:Again? (2, Informative)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831007)

From TFA:

more positrons than can be explained by known physics and that this excess exactly matches what dark matter particles would produce if they were annihilating each other at the center of the galaxy.

Yep, it's very much as you describe. Many of these models push the boundary of what can be called 'theory' in scientific terms, but they are the best we have so far. I think what's getting people excited is that the observations mentioned in TFA are predicted by a dark matter theory.

Re:Again? (4, Insightful)

shma (863063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831137)

I very often see articles saying the Dark Matter is found. This has been going on for years already. Articles titled "Dark Matter Found". But later another article pops up again saying "Dark Matter Found" ... So basically, they just don't know?

No, it shows that bloggers and reporters (and slashdot editors) need to sensationalize preliminary results or possible explanations to get readers.

Re:Again? (1)

div_B (781086) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832431)

No, it shows that bloggers and reporters (and slashdot editors) need to sensationalize preliminary results or possible explanations to get readers.

Of course they need to sensationalize. Otherwise these reports are just, well, preprints! And preprints that aren't in your field probably won't be of interest to you.

The arXiv blog is cool, and it's nice to see some interesting preprints from outside my field pointed out, but I only take this to mean that this could possibly be a bit more interesting to me than the other ten-thousand-odd [arxiv.org] astro-ph preprints I won't be reading this year.

Re:Again? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833003)

Using the 'overrated' moderation says more about your closed-mindedness as a moderator than the content of the comment.

No, it says more about a moderator being to much of a wimp to rate a comment down while subjecting his/her decision to meta-moderation.

Re:Again? (5, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831189)

Galactic clusters do not appear to have enough mass to account for their speeds. Similarly, Galactic rotation curves flatten out as if galaxies were shaped spherical balls, even though we can see they are discs. The very first thing that astronomers reached for to explain these phenomena was as yet unseen, or "dark" matter.

Personally (I am a lay person astronomically), I think Dark Matter raises more questions than it answers. While I acknowledge the effort, time and rigor that many astrophysicists have put into studying these phenomena, I still feel that dark matter, a substance which is invisible, intangible, and undetectable expect through its gravitational effects is too far of a step for physics to take without more evidence. I feel as a theory, dark matter is only a stepping stone on the way to a better explanation for what we are observing.

I think the theory has fed off its own inertia. While "Dark Matter" was proposed in the 1930's by Zwicky, he meant it only in the classical sense, i.e. dust, dim stars, etc. The dark matter we hear about today seems to be a product of the 1970s, and is I think a result of the influx of particle physicists into the discipline of cosmology beginning in that period. The particle physics community has had a history of success using assumptions and models that are counterintuitive and often bizarre. The idea we hear most of today of more "exotic" and inscrutable dark matter stems I think from this camp.

The proposal of alternative theories has also ironically lead to wider acceptance of dark matter. By proposing alternatives, sides and factions were created, as will always happen among groups of people when topics are in dispute. When a theory like MOND fails in a particular case, this has the effect of strengthening confidence in the Dark Matter model, even though it should do nothing of the sort. Only sold predictions which emerge from a model should inspire confidence in it, and despite all the fanfare, we have no way of measuring dark matter, even indirectly. The distribution of the dark matter "halos" or spheres, is still an unknown, and some galaxies do not appear to need dark matter at all.

All that said, Feynman's rebuttal still applies. The laws of nature do not have to be philosophically pleasing to us. The universe does not exist for our mental gratification. It can be as strange as it wants to be, and if we don't like it, that's out tough luck. So if dark matter makes predictions, and they fit the data we see, then it is a good model no matter how strange its premises.

All that said, at this time I would bet on a better theory emerging at some later date. Exotic matter, while it may work in subatomic circles, will not I think stand up to scrutiny in the macroscopic domain.

Re:Again? (2, Interesting)

johnny maxwell (1050822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831631)

Personally (I am a lay person astronomically), I think Dark Matter raises more questions than it answers. While I acknowledge the effort, time and rigor that many astrophysicists have put into studying these phenomena, I still feel that dark matter, a substance which is invisible, intangible, and undetectable expect through its gravitational effects is too far of a step for physics to take without more evidence. I feel as a theory, dark matter is only a stepping stone on the way to a better explanation for what we are observing.

That certainly is the nightmare version of Dark Matter. However, most (if not all?) dark matter models do not in fact propose (other than gravitationally) noninteracting particles. They certainly must interact very weak with each other and ordinary matter but not per se not at all.

Dark Matter models make in fact verifiable predictions, such as annihilation products and rates (positrons in this case). They are valid science!

Re:Again? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831691)

I thought there was work using gravitational lensing to show that there is a halo around many galaxies, and a few galaxies showed no such halo.

Re:Again? (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831719)

The very first thing that astronomers reached for to explain these phenomena was as yet unseen, or "dark" matter.

It has worked in the past, though. Remember how the observed motion of Uranus differed from the predicted motion? A hypothesis was put forward that the difference was due to the gravitational effects of a large body of dark matter. After some mathematical work, the likely location of the dark matter was deduced, someone went to a telescope and had a look - and there it was. Time to crack open the champagne and think of a name for it, how about 'Neptune'?

It has failed in the past too: the motion of Mercury also differed from what was predicted, and the hypothetical planet Vulcan was suggested as the cause. Yet after many searches, there was no sign of Vulcan. It wasn't until the general theory of relativity replaced Newtonian gravity that this was cleared up.

Whether we're about to discover another Neptune, or another general relativity, remains to be seen; the point is that the Universe is pulling something weird on us, and that's interesting.

Re:Again? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833645)

There's a difference: aside from a force of gravity that just has whatever local strength it feels like, it doesn't appear that you can modify the force of gravity to account for all the effects we see. Dark matter, however, can explain all those observations.

In order for a modified gravity theory to work it also requires a certain amount of dark matter.

Re:Again? (4, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831749)

There's a big distinction between the general dark matter theory and particular candidates for dark matter. The general picture is supported by numerous different lines of evidence: not just galactic rotation, but by gravitational lensing, the microwave background, structure formation, etc. It has been much more successful than any modified gravity theory thus far. It's a good model thus far, and we'll drop it if other observations come along.

There are literally hundreds of specific theories of dark matter's composition, however, and those are individually on shakier ground. These are mostly particle physics models emerging from the 1980s. There are an infinitude of papers and preprint suggesting this or that candidate and what signatures it could generate. They do all make predictions, however, and our observations are getting good enough to test many of them. Between astrophysics and particle accelerators we have a real chance of figuring this out (and the PAMELA observation seems unusually interesting!)... but there are a lot of overblown claims in the media in the meantime.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24831787)

ObsessiveMathsFreak has truly well written response. I also, as an an astronomy aficionado, believe the term and theory about dark matter to be so vague and undefined that I place it in the same category as the nebulous "String" theory.

Re:Again? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832143)

so, you think that it is impossible for particles that do not interact with the EM force?

Re:Again? (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832403)

It's not that it's impossible that there are particles which don't interact with EM. The problem is that the only evidence offered for dark matter is 'we can't see this stuff so it must be some new exotic particle.'

I've yet to see evidence that Zwicky was wrong when he suggested that there were objects made of normal stuff that were just too dim for us to see. It may not be as sexy an explanation but until it's demonstrated not to fit the facts, why has it been discarded?

Re:Again? (4, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832531)

There is definitely such evidence - it comes from Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. The idea is that the light elements (deuterium, helium, lithium) were produced when the early universe had temperatures conducive to fusion. This phase only lasted a few minutes, and the abundance of the light elements today depends sensitively on the conditions during this period. The abundance of deuterium tells us pretty clearly that the total mass of matter (which affected the temperature profile during nucleosynthesis) was much greater than the total mass of ordinary matter (which participated in the fusion process). Similar evidence comes from the cosmic microwave background.

Astrophysicists did not initially want to believe that the missing matter was exotic, but there's some extremely compelling evidence!

Belief != Acceptance (4, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832919)

The very first thing that astronomers reached for to explain these phenomena was as yet unseen, or "dark" matter. Personally... I think Dark Matter raises more questions than it answers.

The reason they reached for Dark Matter is that it is the simplest explanation. It is very easy to imagine that there is more mass there than you can see. It is a lot harder to start adding new forces or modifying existing ones. It certainly raises new questions but that does not exclude it from being the simplest solution.

dark matter, a substance which is invisible, intangible, and undetectable expect through its gravitational effects is too far of a step for physics to take without more evidence.

Er...what do you think we are doing? We are looking for that evidence. You are contradicting yourself here: we think DM is the best explanation to date so we are now looking for evidence to confirm it. If we had "taken the step" and truly accepted Dark Matter as the truth why would we bother searching for evidence of it? Also there are very good reasons to think that it interacts through the weak force as well as gravity - although it is not a requirement.

The particle physics community has had a history of success using assumptions and models that are counterintuitive and often bizarre.

We have? What part of particle physics is counter-intuitive? I think you are getting confused between Quantum Mechanics (which is very counter-intuitive) and particle physics. The Standard Model of particle physics is generally very simple, straight forward and easy to understand at a basic conceptual level - it is even sometimes taught at secondary school level.

When a theory like MOND fails in a particular case, this has the effect of strengthening confidence in the Dark Matter model, even though it should do nothing of the sort.

Why is this wrong? If, as is the current case, all alternative theories to DM have series flaws, then you end up with only one candidate theory to test so naturally there will be more work being done on it. I think you are confusing belief with knowledge. A lot of us believe that DM is likely to be correct but none of us know it to be correct. As the best theory to date there is a lot of interest in proving it correct so we look for data to do that.

we have no way of measuring dark matter, even indirectly.

Wrong - there are ways to measure it directly but they depend on the type of dark matter. We can produce it directly in the LHC, we can search for its interactions with nuclei in low background locations deep underground like SNOlab. These experiments have already put limits on what the Dark Matter could be. So far they have not seen anything but that does not preclude them from seeing it.

Exotic matter, while it may work in subatomic circles, will not I think stand up to scrutiny in the macroscopic domain.

...and yet neutrinos, which are now known to have a mass, are an example of exotic matter and standup to scrutiny very well indeed.

Re:Again? (3, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833703)

How about we figure out what exactly gravity *is* first, then we can decide whether we need a new type of invisible matter to explain what's going on out there.

Re:Again? (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24834123)

You don't seem to have much of an opinion of astronomers.

You're correct that a lot of the explanations are exotic and inscrutable, that's because if it was something ordinary we wouldn't have the problem in the first place. It's like we have a giant equation and it doesn't balance, either we're missing a term or one of our terms is very wrong. Either way it's going to be something new and strange because the old and ordinary clearly isn't the answer.

Re:Again? (1)

armareum (925270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24834151)

Indeed. Before we knew about oxygen, we thought Phlogiston [wikipedia.org] existed!

Re:Again? (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831317)

I ask this - why would there be dark matter at the core of the galaxy? Doesn't dark matter repel normal matter?

Re:Again? (1)

jpflip (670957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831559)

No, there is no evidence that dark matter repels normal matter. In fact, it seems to attract normal matter through the same gravitational laws.

Dark Energy (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832971)

I ask this - why would there be dark matter at the core of the galaxy? Doesn't dark matter repel normal matter?

No - Dark Matter is, gravitationally, exactly the same as normal matter. You are thinking of Dark Energy which is not matter. It has a positive energy but behaves as something which is gravitationally repulsive...as far as I am aware there is not even a good theory as to what this stuff is let alone experimental evidence of its nature.

Re:Again? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831771)

> So basically, they just don't know?

The newsies, you mean? Correct. They just don't know. And not just about dark matter.

Re:Again? (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832109)

I very often see articles saying the Dark Matter is found. This has been going on for years already. Articles titled "Dark Matter Found". But later another article pops up again saying "Dark Matter Found" and it'll have a totally different explanation

I don't think you're paying very close attention to what's being reported. Dark matter research isn't continually contradicting itself with new explanations every week.

In the late 1990s, some dark matter was found in the form of MACHOs (basically, brown dwarves and things), but it wasn't enough to explain what all the dark matter was. Since then, more attention has focused on WIMPs (new kinds of particles). Observational studies have continued which have been able to exclude some kinds of WIMPs (e.g., it can't be mostly neutrinos or other very light particles). There are a handful of leading candidates for what most of the WIMPs are (gravitinos, axions, ...). This has remained true for some time. Studies like TFA which provide particle evidence are pretty rare, actually; most of it comes from gravitational dynamics.

Re:Again? (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832141)

Oops, I meant neutralinos, not gravitinos.

Re:Again? (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832271)

Which "they" - the journalist who wrote the piece, the sub-ed who wrote the headline, or the physicist or cosmologist who wrote the paper they don't understand?

Re:Again? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832427)

There are possibly many different aspects to dark matter. There only common factor is we don't know how to detect them yet.
For an example take the atom. The name means "indivisible", or the smallest unit, but guess what, we found out that that premise was false.
If they keep claiming to find new particles, then tally the mass there should gradually be a reduction in the amount of matter unaccounted for. Assuming of course that the "missing" mass is necessary, and there isn't another reason for the observed behaviour of the universe.

Re:Again? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833427)

Dark Matter was found just awhile back - between GWB's ears.

Re:Again? (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833851)

But it's true.

By the way, Duke Nukem Forever will be released in a few months, awesome!

Re:Again? (1)

armareum (925270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24834195)

For my money, the 'dark matter' theory is destined to become remembered in the same way as the Phlogiston Theory [wikipedia.org]

Dark matter is all due to winos? (-1, Redundant)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830593)

"Honesshtly Offisher, Itsh there!"

(waves arm expansively)

"Itsh all awou ... awou ... Itsh EVEWWywhere!
And do you know why you can't see it?"

(shakily puts finger to lips to signify a deep secret)

"cos itsh vewwwy ... VERwwy ... dark"

(hic)

(turns and staggers off towards the light)

"Hewwo Mishter Lamppost, do you want to be my fwend?"

Is that a troll? (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830631)

I was always of the impression that even if you shed light on dark matter you still wouldn't see it, and if you did , we already would. But I commend the initiative, and wish the best of luck to any and all who attempt to shedding some light on the matter of dark, shed some dark on the matter of light mass, shed some mass in order to become become light, or even just light some dark sheds.

Re:Is that a troll? (3, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830731)

I've always heard the opposite... That dark matter isnt any different at all from normal matter, it's just that we don't know where it is. We know it's out there someplace because the mathmatical models rely on there being "extra" mass out there still work when compared to reality.

Re:Is that a troll? (5, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830935)

I've always heard the opposite

I'm afraid the OP was correct. You can't shed light on dark matter because the dark will suck all the light, just like the sun sucks dark so hard that the friction of the dark moving to the sun causes it to become very hot. The flow of dark towards the sun interrupted by the earth causes the side of the earth away from the sun to accumulate dark, thus causing Night. As the earth rotates the dark caught on the night side can then be pulled off, this causing the absence of dark known as Day.

What we call light bulbs are truly dark suckers as well. That is why light bulbs are hot, just like the sun. When a light bulb is full of dark and won't suck dark any more, it cools off. If you look in old light bulbs you can even seen the accumulation of dark.

And when he said shed some dark on the matter of light mass, shed some mass in order to become become light I think he was referring to the fact that dark is heavier than water (in the oceans, the deeper you go, the darker it gets).

I don't know about lighting dark sheds bit, though. Maybe someone else?

Ah, Darkons. (1)

Molochi (555357) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831711)

I miss those.Also Levity Waves.

Re:Is that a troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24831125)

That's the MACHO theory, i.e. it's normal matter but doesn't shine. However the lack of interaction observed in this event is evidence against that interpretation; if it was normal matter it should have slowed down.

Re:Is that a troll? (1)

Matt Edd (884107) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831159)

Nope. The OP is correct. While we may know nothing about what DM is we do know a bit about what it isn't. It cannot be matter as we know it because it doesn't interact with EM waves.

Re:Is that a troll? (1)

jpflip (670957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831773)

To clarify slightly, there are two kinds of dark matter. There is "dark ordinary matter", which is just gas and dust that we can't find. We've now found most of that. The vast majority of the missing mass, however, is NOT ordinary matter. This is the mysterious part.

Dark? Pls explain (5, Interesting)

4thAce (456825) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830655)

Can someone astrophysically informed explain how the charged wino [wikipedia.org] can be a dark matter candidate? Photons would interact with it through its charge, now? Or are they talking about the zino (same link)?

Back when I was in particle physics, we would pronounce "wino" to rhyme with neutrino, but we would still snicker about it.

Re:Dark? Pls explain (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830909)

Back when I was in particle physics, we would pronounce "wino" to rhyme with neutrino

Funnily enough, in Oz it's the other way round - they pronounce neutrino to rhyme with wino... !

Re:Dark? Pls explain (4, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830959)

The charged wino would not be a reasonable dark matter candidate for just the reason you give: it would interact with light and we would have detected it by now. The dark matter candidate should be uncharged and thus a partner of an uncharged particle, e.g. a zino or photino.

There's a terminology issue, however (here comes the boring part). The electromagnetic (photon) and weak forces (W+/- and Z) are understood to be aspects of a unified electroweak force. In electroweak theory its more convenient to talk of 3 W fields (+/- and neutral) and one neutral B field. The photon is a mixture of the neutral W and B, the Z is another such mixture.

The most common dark matter candidate (the lightest neutralino) is a mixture of the supersymmetric partners of these particles: the neutral bino and neutral wino (and two neutral higgsinos). We could just as well say that we're mixing the photino and zino (and two neutral higgsinos), but bino and wino are more common terminology.

The paper is speaking about a dark matter candidate which is primarily the neutral wino, with a little admixture of the other states. Note that this doesn't mean the dark matter is composed of multiple different particles, just that the one particle it is composed of is "in-between" these labels.

Re:Dark? Pls explain (1)

jpflip (670957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831795)

A correction to myself: As other posters note, there is no mention in this article of winos. They are possible dark matter candidates in other papers, however.

Re:Dark? Pls explain (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831905)

Don't be fooled by this guy! He's not really talking about physics. I saw some 'particle physics' equations left on a whiteboard the other day. A postgrad told me it was important physics and I wouldn't understand, but I'm sure there's some kind of hidden message:

egkino artypino => ablino-2, idayfrino

Re:Dark? Pls explain (4, Informative)

starwed (735423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830985)

I think the summary is just wrong. The arxiv article doesn't mention winos at all... perhaps the summary writer confused it with WIMP?

The DM canidate is specified to be a

fermionic SU(2)L 5-plet with zero hypercharge

in the article itself

Re:Dark? Pls explain (3, Informative)

shma (863063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831171)

The actual arxiv paper [arxiv.org] contains no references to the term 'wino'. And they clearly states that their candidate is neutral. I've seen mentions of a 'wino-like neutralino' as a candidate for dark matter in different papers, but I'm unsure of what exactly makes it 'wino-like'. It is certainly not charge.

I Concur (0, Redundant)

triso (67491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830703)

We have had problems with "Dark Matter" being found in the alleyway behind our house. A "wino" particle is the prime suspect.

Wonderful (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830741)

WINO [youtube.com]

Wino? (0)

Unworthy Advocate (767730) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830797)

Horaay for Winos!! It's about time Winos started contributing to science beyond being lab rats for evil genius mind control experiments. When you consider that Winos have a superhero (Hancock) AND a Rock Star (Amy Winehouse) in their ranks, I'd say the Wino lifestyle has gone up a notch or two!

Mircosoft know it better (1)

MarcoPon (689115) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830837)

Win-o? This clearly can't be a coincidence...

Re:GNU know it better (5, Funny)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830921)

Wino is a recursive acronym for "Wino Is Not Observable"

Re:GNU know it better (3, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831525)

It's GNU/Wino, damnit!

-

Re:GNU know it better (1)

Epistax (544591) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831967)

Wino.
Well the very fact that we're talking about Wino means it is observable, even if only by the absence of something else.

Wine.
From winehq [winehq.org] , "Wine is a translation layer (a program loader) capable of running Windows applications on Linux and other POSIX compatible operating systems."
From dictionary.com:
emulator. 1. to try to equal or excel; imitate with effort to equal or surpass
3. Computers. a. to imitate (a particular computer system) by using a software system, often including a microprogram or another computer that enables it to do the same work, run the same programs, etc., as the first.

In conclusion, Wino is observable, and Wine is an emulator.

Finding things... (3, Funny)

jtcedinburgh (626412) | more than 6 years ago | (#24830933)

So, scientists say they may have found Dark Matter, eh?

I bet it was in the last place they looked...

I'll get me coat...

Space Observatory May Have Found Dark Matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24831099)

... it was in the closet the whole time!

Ah, well... (3, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831149)

I assume they used Hobonic detectors.

pfft (1)

GregNorc (801858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831563)

Winos leave dark matter outside my apartment all the time!

There is no dark matter...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24831627)

It has nothing to do with the gravitational effects of matter we can't detect.Large astronomical bodies behave in the way they do because the turtles are squishing the universe dummy.

Not wholly kosher (5, Insightful)

pz (113803) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831743)

The linked article is a summary of a paper that has an analysis of data not written by the original PAMELA team who collected the data. The PAMELA team have not yet published their data or findings, although apparently have presented them at a conference in Stockholm.

The summary quotes the paper thusly: "The preliminary data points for positron and antiproton fluxes plotted in our figures have been extracted from a photo of the slides taken during the talk, and can thereby slightly differ from the data that the PAMELA collaboration will officially publish."

I am not familiar with the conference in Stockholm that the PAMELA data were originally presented at, but at every large conference I have attended, it is official policy that no photographs are allowed. Taking unpublished data without permission of the authors is theft, pure and simple. Submitting a paper on that data before the original authors do is unethical.

Certainly, such proclamations are made with scant and incomplete information (it could be that Cirelli and Strumia, the non-PAMELA authors, did indeed get permission from the PAMELA team, and everything is kosher), and I hope that either members of the PAMELA team or authors of the new paper might read Slashdot to explain what's going on.

Re:Not wholly kosher (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831851)

> Taking unpublished data without permission of the authors is theft, pure and simple.

No it isn't. One cannot steal data. It might be copyright infringement, and it might be unethical, but it is not theft.

> Submitting a paper on that data before the original authors do is unethical.

I agree.

Re:Not wholly kosher (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832491)

There are other definitions of what constitute theft than what qualifies as such in the view of a US court, you know. If circumstances are as they superficially appear, what those people did, morally and ethically, is theft pure and simple, and it matters not a whit whether they could be arrested for it.

Re:Not wholly kosher (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833107)

Theft, in common parlance, involves depriving someone of rightful possession of property. No one was deprived of possession of property here, and so there was no theft. In fact, it appears that there wasn't even any copyright infringement.

What they did was unethical. Why can't you just call it that? Why the need to attach a dramatic and inappropriate label such as "theft"?

Re:Not wholly kosher (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833887)

Again, assuming that matters are as stated, because they were deprived of the tangible and intangible benefits of being first to formally publish their own work, and because any opprobrium attaching to misuse of their data will inevitably affect them to some degree, it can be assumed by reasonable people that they're likely to suffer some damage from the theft.

If you take the trouble to read the short OED entry on theft, offered here for your convenience, you'll note that at least two of the definitions fit the circumstances quite nicely. Nothing "dramatic or inappropriate" here, my friend, just proper and expressive use of the language England gave us.

steal

verb (past stole; past part. stolen) 1 take (something) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it. 2 take surreptitiously or without permission: I stole a look at my watch. 3 move somewhere quietly or surreptitiously. 4 gain (a point, advantage, etc.) unexpectedly or by exploiting the temporary distraction of an opponent.

Re:Not wholly kosher (2, Interesting)

Ruie (30480) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833863)

I am not familiar with the conference in Stockholm that the PAMELA data were originally presented at, but at every large conference I have attended, it is official policy that no photographs are allowed. Taking unpublished data without permission of the authors is theft, pure and simple. Submitting a paper on that data before the original authors do is unethical.

Not everyone thinks that way. Some of us think that publicly presented information is fair game. And just because I have not spent the necessary effort to develop exact memory does not mean I cannot augment it with a device.

Furthermore, the whole point of doing science is that others can verify your claims by experiment or derivation. That this also leads to finding other people you can discuss your results with (let alone ecstatic enough to write a paper based on a snapshot) is a big bonus.

Dick Cheney? (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 6 years ago | (#24831965)

What, did they point the thing at Dick Cheney's chest with a little x-ray back light and catch a view of his heart?

priort art? (1)

grimmy (75458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832155)

I think there's already proof of these "winos" leaveing "dark matter" all over New York City isn't there?

Why physics don't like simple responses? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832389)

Dark matter, as writed above, maybe is simple normal matter without radiation emissions, (ligth, thermic, nuclear radiation, etc). Not a "exotic unclear particle", just ordinary mass we can't see because don't generate detectable radiation

Re:Why physics don't like simple responses? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833025)

That does not explain the observations.

Re:Why physics don't like simple responses? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833289)

I read the wikipedia article about dark matter, but i cannot understood yet why "is normal matter without radiation" cannot explain the observations (gravitational lensing, gravitational pull and etc)..

Re:Why physics don't like simple responses? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833757)

It's unlikely. We're pretty sure we have a decent idea of the amount of normal matter created in the big bang and it agrees with our estimates of the amount of matter we can see pretty well. For various reasons dark matter is unlikely to be just non-radiating normal matter. Some of these reasons are direct observations: galaxies colliding and the normal matter going one way (including the non-luminous cold gas, which in the collision gets hot, starts radiating, and forms stars), and the dark matter continuing straight on as if nothing happened.

Cosmology is a little bit more complicated than the one page news articles make it out to be.

Why did they call it wino? (1)

DerCed (155038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24832457)

Why did they call it wino, when it would have been much more appropriate to call it emo?

No big deal ... (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24833799)

Every since I wear black t-shirts I've been finding Dark Matter right here in my bellybutton. And quite often actually.
*Ta-DUM* *CRASH* *ThUD*
Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week. Try the fish.

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