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Dark Energy and Dark Matter

Manson Chan

Do you think you are familiar with everything in your room? I believe not. Perhaps you know about everything you can see, but how about the things you cannot see? Two invisible mysterious things called dark energy and dark matter make up of 23% and 72% of the Universe. And the rest ---4.6% are baryons1, and only 1/10th of them arevisible matter like chairs, books, people2.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration.http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_matter.html

What isdark matter? Dark matter ismatter that we could not observe directly3. This is because itdoes not interact withthe electromagnetic force to emit or absorb light4. Itmay be weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which only interact through the weak force and gravity, or it may be massive compact halo objects (MACHO), which do not emit any light5. WIMPS are predicted to be similar to neutrinos but more massive6, while MACHOS might be black holes, neutron stars, brown dwarfs, very faint red dwarfs, white dwarfs and unassociated planets.

Why do we know about its existence even if we havent seen it?


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National Aeronautics and Space Administration.http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_matter.html Douglas C. Glancoli.PHYSICS Principles with Applications.Pearson Education International P.940-941 3 Astronomy 162:Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, & the Universe.http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit6/dark.html 4 Wikipedia: Dark matter.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter 5 Wikipedia: MACHO.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MACHO
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Wikipedia: WIMPs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIMPs

The predictedorbital speeds of stars in galaxies differ fromobservation.Mostof the stars orbiting the centre of the galaxy are located in the central bulge. Based on Newtonian mechanics the orbital speed v of a star is given by v2=GM/r,where M is the mass enclosed by the orbital radius r7.Scientists made two predictionsabout the orbital speed.Inside the central bulge,a star which is further away from

the centre of mass hasa higher orbital speed; outside the central bulge, the orbital speed decreases with distance8. However,the orbital speed is roughly constant outside the central bulge -- the speed-distance graphlevels off.

Astronomy 162:Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, & the Universehttp://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit6/dark.html

The difference between the predicted curve and the real curve led physicists to formulate the concept of dark matter.Some stars have unexpectedly high rotation speed, which means there is anadditional force pulling them. There must be

invisible massive particles -dark matter- to account for the additional centripetal force which allows the planets to rotate at the observed speeds. And dark matter is estimated to make up 23% of the Universe.9This is how
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Douglas C. Glancoli.PHYSICS Principles with Applications.Pearson Education International P.940

Astronomy 162:Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, & the Universe.http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit6/dark.html 9 BBC: Dark Matter Mining- Most of Our Universe is Missing

we discovered it even if nobody can see it.

Apart from dark matter, there is another thing we cannot see in the Universe----dark energy.Still, we can infer its existence by looking at the expansion of the Universe.

Redshift means the frequency of light decreases. It occurs when the light is emitted from a source moving away. Redshift in the light emitting from the systems shows that the Universe is expanding. In the past, the scientiststhoughtthe

Universe could develop in three ways---- expanding forever with a decreasing rate of expansion, expanding up to a limitorcollapsing after a period of expansion ending in a big crunch. Gravity counteracts this expansion
and the path which the Universe takes depends on the average mass density of the Universe.If the density of the Universe was same as a critical density, the second prediction would come true. The first prediction would be true if the density was smaller than the critical density. If the density of the Universe was larger than the critical density, then the third prediction would be correct.However, the stars

are separating from each other at an accelerating rate!Why were all the three
predictions wrong? Is the Big Bang Theory wrong? Is gravity repulsive at very large distances?10

Physicists fixed this problem by hypothesizing the existence of dark energy in the Universe. For the Universe to expand at an accelerating rate, there must be

a considerably large source of energy in the Universe to drive this expansion and oppose the gravitational attraction between matter. So far we cannot detect dark energy but we believe that it constitutes 75% of the Universe11.This is energy latent in space itself. As the Universe expands, more
dark energy is produced to drive its expansion12. We have no knowledge of the
Astronomy 162:Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, & the Universe. http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit6/dark.html
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Stephen Hawking.A brief History of Time. A Random House Group Company. P.41-60 Steve Adams Jonathan Allday. Advanced Physics.Oxford University Press. P.548-549 Douglas C.Glancoli. PHYSICS Principles with Applications.Pearson Education International. P.926-929, 939-940 11 Stephen Hawking.A brief History of Time .A Random House Group Company. P.41-60 Douglas C.Glancoli. PHYSICS Principles with Applications.Pearson Education International.P.941-942 12 Douglas C. Glancoli. PHYSICS Principles with Applications.Pearson Education International. P.940

intrinsic nature of dark energy but there are two suggested form of dark energy. It may be a constant energy density filling space evenly, or a dynamic energy density, which varies in time and space.13

Dark Matter: another basic part of galaxies!! Dark Energy: What is it?http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu/NatSci102/NatSci102/lectures/darkmatter.htm

The true nature of dark energy and dark matter is literally hidden in the darkness of the Universe. However, their discovery shows how science develops through using observations and experiments to construct better theories that describe the world around us. It is mind-blowing that invisible dark energy and dark matter make up 96% of the Universe. You know almost nothing about the things in your room.

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Wikipedia: Dark energy.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy