Dark matter, dark energy and vacuum energy

The ultimate quest ?


How did it start ? In 1687 Isaac Newton ‘s law of universal gravitation , the first modern scientific description of gravity, involves “action” at a distance “. Newton is sure there must be an acount of gravity without this nonlocality, and even tries an unsuccessful theori in which tiny, invisable, jiggling particles fill all of seemingly empty space. ( pict. right) Who predicted the existence of dark matter ? The swiss Fritz Zwicky (1898-1974, (pict. right) measured in 1933 the mass of the Coma cluster of galaxies, a near galaxie cluster outside our own . He found this to be 400 times the mass of all visible stars from galaxies in this cluster. His conclution was that it had to be an invisibel mass in the univers, “gluing together” the galaxis. What kind of particles could this bee, and not beeing obserevable? Such particles could not be any of those created in particle accelerators, such as quarks, leptons and bosons . The first evidence . In the MaxPlanck institute for astronomy in Heidelberg three-dimentional pictures from galaxies was scrutinized, and especially pictures from the Hubble space telescope revealed a peculiar phenonmena, called “gravitation lenses”. (pict. down, left) Such distortion of a picture from a star cluster could only get its explanation from an enormous gravitation influence. The stars in this the cluster could only contribute with a few percent of this, the rest had to come from the dark matter. In fact, his proves the existence of dark matter.

3 What is the universe made of ? Just take a look at the picture (right) (Mc-Donald Observatory) Normal matter amounts to only 5 %, that’s all ! Dark matter amounts to 21 % but is completely overshadoved by dark energy, another mysterious content in the universe.

What is then dark energy ? Sorry, no one knows the answer todag . A full clarification will probably disclose å new kind of physics, shaking our modern comprehension of particles behaviour in their fundaments. But something seems clarified about dark energy : • • • It shows a repulsiv force, and is responsoble for the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is probably relayed to what is called vacuum energy Dark energy is uniformly distributed in the universe , it doesn’t clog like dark matter.

So we still don’t know for sure what dark energy is ! In the standard model for particle physics we find no neutral, heavy particles beeing stable for the lifetime of the universe. Therefore, scientists has given such mystical particles the name “Weakly Interactive Massive Particle”or WIMP. In the nearby months, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Cern could possibly give scientists important information about the true nature of WIMP’s. Is dark matter homogenous distributed in universe ? Simon White, direktor by Mac Planck Institute for astrophysics in Germany, has during 17 years studied computer-simulation of dark matter contribution in the universe. He revealed that dark matter was irregulary distributed, and clogging . He was able to visualize the clogging in pictures, giving an impression of their extension in space. In pict.(right) the scale given is 500 Mpe/h (megaparcel) corresponding to 2 billion lightyears. White says that dark matter must be an up to now unknown type of an elementary particle. We believe it’s kind of supersymmetric particles, Wimps.


A new approach to the understanding ? Results from two guite different groups, the one using a satellite and the other a ballon, was published at the end of 2008. The satellite group used the European PAMELA -satellite, the ballon group used a ballon-borne instrument known as ATIC. In Sky & Telescope Magazine for april 2009 the author Govert Schilling published an article with the title “ Shedding New Light on Dark Matter”, where he discusses the observarions and possible explanations. An extract from this article is presentet here: From PAMELA (pict.down) was reported an excess of high-energy positrons up to about 100 billion eV

From ATIC ( pic up right) was registered 210 high-speed electrons, coming from deep space 50 % more than expected 140. These electrons had energies roughly between 300 and 700 billion eV (electron volts) . This should mean that each single electron had as much kinetic energy as a flying mosquito. In defiance of variances measured the datasets appear to match pretty well in general. Shilling writes : “Something appearantly in our cosmic neighboborhood spews out large numbers of energetic electrons and positrons. Could it bee a nearby cloud of annihaliationed dark matter? (Pict right) It’s fairly likely that the PAMELA group has observed dark matter. A theory (Wulf) based on observations from ATIC is that due to the drop-off above 800 billion eV Wulf suggest they come from annihilating Kaluza-Klein particles. Such particles should exist in tiny, rolled up fifth dimensions, from where they could make there presence in our four-dimentional space-time .

5 Kaluza-Klein theory is a model that seeks to unify the two fundamental forces of gravitation and electromagnetism. In 1921 Kaluza extended general relativity to a five-dimentional spacetime. The resulting equations can be separated out into further sets of equations, one of which is equivalent to Einsteins field eqations, another set equivalent to Maxwell’s equations for the electromagnetic field, and the final part an extra field, now termed the “ radion”. In 1926 , Oscar Klein proposed that the fourth spatial dimension is curled up in a circle of very small radius, so that a particle moving a short distance along the axis would return to where it began. The distance a particle can travel before reaching its initial position is said to be the size of the dimention. Exsistance of higher dimensioned particles is a prediction in the String Theory, not yet confirmed by observations. String Theory presuppose eleven dimentions (seven in addition to our daily four, x –y -z and time) and it’s extreemly complicated to combine all forces in nonlinear differential mathematic equations. Other physicists express scepticism , not sure that the measurements from ATIC are due to dark matter. There are other objects that could accelerate positrons and electrons to such high energies, such as pulsars and suopernovas, and concludes: “Well known pulsares could give such signals”. New hopes for a solution are attached to the Fermi accelerator in USA and the Large Hadron Accelerator (LHC) i Cern , Switzerland (Pict.left) Scientists hope for seeing “telltale glow of decaying particles produced by dark matter annihilation, a faint glow that is predicted to be most conspicious in the large centered on the core of our Milky Way Galaxy.”

Dark energy, does it really exist ?
What is dark energy ? No one knows the answer today. A full clarification will probably disclose å new kind of physics, shaking our modern comprehension of particles behaviour in their fundaments. But something seems clarified about dark energy : • • • It shows a repulsiv force, and is responsoble for the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is probably relayed to what we call vacuum energy Dark energy is uniformly distributed in the , it doesn’t clog like dark matter.

Whatever the location, be it in your kitchen or in intergalactic space, vacuum energy has the same density, about 10 -26 kilograms per m3, equivalent to a handfulog hydrogen atoms. All dark energy in our own solar system amounts to the mass of a small asteroide. So it’s effect stands out only when viewed over vast distances and spans of time. Newertheless, some kind of energy, previously unknown to science, opposes and overwhelms galaxies mutual attraction, pushing them apart ever faster, and adds up to the most powerful

6 force in the cosmos. Simultation have shown that matter on cosmic scales is distributed in a cobweblike pattern, a filigree of filaments, several tens of millions of lightyears long, interspersed with voids of similar size. Therefore, both dark energy and dark matter are needed to be explained. Common matter, so called baryons (protons and neutrons) , makes up to 4 % of all “elements” in the universe. Dark matter makes about 70%, and dark energy about 26%.

What is vacuum energy ?
The quantum theory In 1917 Albert Einstein introduced dark energy with a constant he kalled Λ. He needed this in his equation for the general theory of relative gravitation, making it asserting for a static universe. Shortly after this, Hubble detected the expanssion of the universe, and Λ was redundant. Later on the Quantum Theori showed up, and scientists believed that the empty room virtually was full of particles, continiously forming and vanishing. The physicians now suspicted that vacuum necessarily had a dark form of energy, and Λ was again introduced. Status for vacuum theory. Today, physicists explain the cosmological constant as the vacuum energy of space. In essence, this say that pairs of of particles are constantly popping into existence throughout the universe. This “virtual pairs” of one particle with a negative charge and one with a positive charge. They only exist for a tiny fraction of a second, See pict.right, with 4 stages : 1. Empty space 2. Two particles suddenly appear 3. Particles ram together and annihilate each other 4. They leave ripples of energy through space This energy may be pushing outwards on space itself, causing the universe to accelerate faster. In addition, one suspect that vacuum energy came from space itself when the Big Bang started. Today, 13.7 billion years after the Big Bang, the universe has grown much larger, so the galaxies are not packed so close together. Their gravitatonal pull on each other has weakened , allowing the vacuum energy to play a more dominant role.

References : Scientific American, may 2004 Scientific American, febr. 2007 “The time before time” “ The cosmic grip of dark energy”

7 Scientific American, mars 2009 Scientific American , april 2009 Sky& Telescope, Sky&Telescope, febr. 2009 april 2009 “ Was Einstein wrong ?” “ Dark energy, does it really exist?” “ Going over the dark side” ” Dark matter, seen at last ?”

The Standard Model, a quantum felt theory (QFT) from Wikipedia, 18 p..

22. februar 2010 Kjell W. Tveten

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