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posted by Dopefish on Sunday February 23 2014, @08:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the where's-carl-sagan-when-you-need-him? dept.

pjbgravely writes:

"Scientists use gravity lensing measurements to determine mass of galaxy clusters. Anja von der Linden, an astrophysicist at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University in California, is using the Subaru telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, both on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The results are 40% higher than the measurements done by the Planck collaboration.

I guess there goes Douglas Adams' theory that the missing mass was in the packing material of the scientists' equipment."

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  • (Score: 1) by evilviper on Monday February 24 2014, @12:38PM

    by evilviper (1760) on Monday February 24 2014, @12:38PM (#5759) Homepage Journal

    the premises "Every observer is the same", "the speed of light is constant for everyone", "you cannot distinguish between an accelerating lift and a lift in gravity", etc, are all either measurable, or would make the universe quite incomprehensible if wrong

    It doesn't have to invalidate the entire theoretical basis of GR/SR, just because the equations need a fudge factor to work. Just consider the Cosmological Constant... Or consider how it falls apart with black holes or other quantum phenomena.

    But until you can come up with another theory of gravity that worked as well as GR AND do away with dark matter, then having one workable theory (GR) + one unknown (dark matter) seems better than having no workable theory at all.

    It's not an either-or. You can keep using it, but you should acknowledge that there seems to be something "wrong", rather than acting like it's an entirely solved problem. Think of Newtonian mechanics before GR... Nobody invented exotic new theoretical types of matter to make the equations match more closely than they do.

    Better yet, just TRY to consider the possibility that in the next couple decades there will be numerous experiments trying to identify and study dark matter / energy, and it's possible they'll all simply come back with a negative result. Then you still have numbers that work, but without the conceit that they might be theoretically sound.

    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.