Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No dark matter mining tomorrow

I stayed home today with headache and sore throat. Boring. I start to wake up only now in the evening. No Sudbury for me this week -- so I cannot tell you about the mine or the dark matter detectors.

At least I can point you to some things related to dark matter, things I've found while idly browsing the web today (my ability to concentrate was not so good today, this was the most intellectually stimulating thing I was able to do).

There was a post about The Story of Dark Matter at the physics (among other things) blog Uncertain Principles. It quotes another blog post at about the eccentric astronomer Fritz Zwicky who in the 1930's was the first to suggest that the motion of galaxies in galaxy clusters could be explained with the assumption that there is a large amount of dark (i.e. unseen) matter. The comments at Uncertain Principles have more information, and there are also some comments about dark matter in sf (one of them from me of course!).

I have read Zwicky's first papers on this, to be able to quote them in my thesis. I wanted to quote some really old papers, to dig down to the beginning of the search for dark matter, as well as quoting the most recent results. The early ones are easier to keep up with, but harder to find -- I actually had to go down to the basement of the library and find the dusty collections of old science journals. That was fun, I should do that more often! (Otherwise I count on everything being available online, at least through the university.)

But I didn't know anything about the person Fritz Zwicky until now.

Back to the subject of dark matter in science fiction: I also found that there now is a dedicated Wikipedia article about dark matter in fiction. It's not covering everything, but there are examples here that I didn't know about.

I have written a fanzine article (in Swedish) about dark matter in science fiction. I might translate it some day...

1 comment:

S.W. Ahmed said...

Interesting comments about dark matter, and particularly about dark matter in fiction. I’ve been fascinated with this topic for a long time, and actually wrote a science fiction adventure novel about it that recently got published. The main idea is that dark matter is actually just ordinary matter purposely hidden from our view by highly advanced aliens. In reality, our galaxy is almost 10 times as big as what we think it is. It is heavily populated with all kinds of alien civilizations, but all the star systems they inhabit are invisible to us. The only stars we see in the sky are those whose worlds are devoid of any intelligent life. All other galaxies are similarly made to appear proportionally smaller to us.

The whole story is about a human who uncovers this secret by accident, and the adventures he undergoes as a result. Details are on my website at