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  ( What Would Jean Do )


I'm not really sure, probably something mean.


However, I figured since Christians made millions of dollars selling Bracelets and bumper stickers with the whole WWJD thing, I would take the idea and modify it slightly.


I accept cash and credit, no COD's. All proceeds will be directed to the RRS website.




On a more serious topic.

I watched a show about Dark matter last night.  I do philosophy, not science.  Needless to say, I have heard of Dark Matter, but know only the most basic principles.  The expansion of the Universe is of great interest to me. 

Any of you Science Geeks here that know something about this subject and can put it in laymans terms, that would be awesome. Or maybe direct me to a few websites that can shed more light on this dark matter.....(terrible pun...sorry)



Mr. O



"Whoever feels predestined to see and not to believe will find all believers too noisy and pushy: he guards against them."

Friedrich Nietzsche

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 OK, that is a subject that


OK, that is a subject that I am rather familiar with. Let me take you back to about 1920 for some background.


At that point, astronomers had thought that they had more or less mapped out the entire universe. There were, of course, several unanswered questions but there was a high confidence level that they would get sorted out in due time. Well, they were, just not the way that anyone expected.


One of those questions surrounded glowing clouds of gas that did not seem to show any features that astronomers could use to estimate the distance to those clouds. We now know that a fair number of the ones that were known back then are the active star birth regions in our galaxy.


However, in the late 20's, Edwin Hubble found that one of them had a type of star known as a cephid variable that had been used to measure distances in the past and the cephid measurements from there pointed to the one particular cloud being well beyond the bounds of the mapped universe. Clearly, our understanding was lacking but further work found more of those clouds that also had cephids that were of similar distances. Today, we know them as galaxies.


Enter the Swiss born Caltech astronomer Fritz Zwicky who did quite a bit of the work that is now accepted as fundamental to our understanding of cosmology. He provided some fairly major extensions to Hubble's work, including the use of supernovae to estimated the distances to other galaxies and observations of those distant galaxies.


Well, in 1933, he was doing some of the work, which included estimating the mass and rotation of whole galaxies. In doing that work, he realized that he was getting observations that most galaxies were rotating so fast that they ought to fly apart. That is unless galaxies are much heavier (on the order of a couple hundred times heavier) than could be accounted for by then current observations. So he suggested that they ought to have a significant portion of their mass hidden away from observations in a form that he decided to call “dark matter”.


So the astronomical community was not right on top of the idea that most of the mass of the universe simply was unseeable and the idea got put on the back burner. Even so, the observations and analysis had been published and it had to be accepted that there was something going on. For the next few decades, it was referred to as the “missing mass” problem.


Eventually, more observations were made and it became clear that dark matter had to be accepted or explained away. As much of the new evidence was coming from studies other than what Zwicky had done, it was decided that the most likely research programs would involve trying to map out where the dark matter ought to be and then use newer instruments to see if anything at all can be found.


So today, we know where to look and we still can't find anything. Which is actually part of what CERN is hoping to help with using the LHC. Basically, they have some theoretical ideas for what dark matter might be and they are hoping to make it in the lab.

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Hi Mr, OI spent some time on

Hi Mr, O

I spent some time on an astronomy forum several years ago and we had some very interesting discussions on cosmology. A lot of it was beyond my grasp (ha ha, pun intended).

Try the Cosmology section of the forums for starters.

I was tolerated as a xtian but, after I defected from religion, I was banned for posting the evils of water fluoridation. Go figure.

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein