Dark Matter/Energy, Resolution of Spacetime, etc.

Warning: This is wild speculation from someone who probably doesn't know what he's talking about. Please link me to any resources that would set me straight. :)

Cliffs Notes: Could the possibility of a fundamental resolution to the universe explain dark matter/energy?

Something about the search for the nature of dark matter/energy has always bugged me. Every time I've seen the topic explored (and I admit I haven't done any really advanced reading on it), they've taken for granted that the dark matter is a real substance that we can potentially interact with, and that the dark energy is an actual force being exerted on normal matter. In some ways it reminds me of the search for the luminiferous aether. Has anyone seriously explored the possibility that it's an effect of some (simpler) underlying cause?

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Views: 6

Tags: cosmology, dark, energy, matter, universe

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Comment by Фелч Гроган on July 7, 2009 at 11:03pm
carver: We have no real world experiences that can be used as metaphors for what goes on at the quantum level.

So we're looking for the Philosopher's Stone.
Comment by Karla on July 7, 2009 at 3:39pm
I pretty much understand what I need to know to function in my world but I must say, it's a real comfort having you guys on our side.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on July 7, 2009 at 1:31pm
I did read the entire post, but tried to deal with one question at a time.
Your statement, "The first thing I noticed was that the blurring effect of anti aliasing is roughly analogous to the uncertainty principle, which deals with effects on the Planck scale",
is an excellent metaphor. That brings up the difficulty in understanding Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, Quantum Entanglement and a host of other mind numbing concepts. We have no real world experiences that can be used as metaphors for what goes on at the quantum level. The use of metaphor is the way in which new concepts are understood, by pairing the new concept with an analogous and understood concept. There ain't no metaphor that helps with the concept of 11 dimensions of space/time.
Comment by Matthew Orlando on July 7, 2009 at 1:03pm
The point being, I don't see the addition of a new unknown phenomenon as "simpler" in the sense of occam's razor. More inline with our existing experiences, perhaps, but the same could be said for the helio- vs. geocentrism.
Comment by Matthew Orlando on July 7, 2009 at 1:00pm
I wonder what you might think of the wild speculation I make in the full post (I think i need to make the "Continue Reading…" link bigger :P )
Comment by Jim DePaulo on July 7, 2009 at 12:53pm
Most of the mathematics used to describe the universe is valid and predictive. In the case of explaining the expansion of the universe the mathematics fails, which tells us one of three things: (1) the math is wrong (2) our data is wrong or (3) there is a factor(s) working that we haven't observed.
If intensive scrutiny of the mathematics and the data is made and no flaws are found then we have to assume there is some factor we can't as yet detect; logic and Occam's razor would suggest that there is more matter and energy in the universe than we can detect, ergo dark matter/energy. That does not mean that other factors might be present. It's been observed that particles can pop into and out of existence - an explanation might found there; or as Steven Hawkins speculated, that what we observe of the physical universe may be a local effect and the same constants do not exist in other parts of the universe. We could just as easily call it "Unknown Matter/Energy factor X" (although that has poor promotional qualities) or "we have no fucking idea factor X". Dark matter is just the simplest construct to account for the discrepancy.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on July 7, 2009 at 4:27am
I read an interesting obesrvation from born-again agnostic crusader Mark Vernon. He compares modern science's pursuit of dark matter/energy and string theory to Newton's later life interest in alchemy - and I think he has a good point. There is certainly a 'magical' aspect to it all - researching things we have no means of testing. String theory especially - it tosses Ockham's razor out the window, and just invents new dimensions to make the formulas work. You have to wonder at some of the reasoning behind it all.

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