Some of my favorite talks at our monthly astronomy club meetings are the ones that really stretch my imagination. The kind that twist my brain into a knot and send me straight to the computer to find out more. This month’s presentation did just that.
One of our favorite presenters, Jim, gave a great talk on dark matter (dark energy to follow sometime next year). Here’s the one thing that I know for sure about dark matter. No one really knows what it is or how to explain it’s existence. Dark matter and dark energy make up 95% of our universe, leaving only 5% as visible matter.
So far one of the best candidate for dark matter are particles called “weekly interacting massive particles” or WIMPS. On October 30th the Large Underground Xenon dark matter detector (LUX) proudly announced that they found…..nothing. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just one step in finding the elusive particles. While we live in a world of fast moving technology and instant access to just about everything, it may be hard for us to wrap our brains around the fact that these things just take time.
We’ve only just begun our search for the answer to dark matter. Maybe WIMPS are the answer, maybe not I don’t know. I do know that we need to keep looking, keep trying to understand our universe. To me, the more we discover the more amazing our universe becomes and the better we can understand our place in it.
To people like Jim who bring these topics to us, I have only this to say…….more please!