Above: Chandra X-Ray Observatory estimates of the “total energy
content of the Universe”. Only "normal matter” can be directly detected
with telescopes. The rest of the matter and energy is invisible.
In the Dark on Matter
Fabulous Matter and Energy
"What every astronomer measures in the spectrum of a
galaxy is the percentage by which a line is shifted from
wavelength. Astronomers habitually say
they measure a velocity.
That is incorrect. What they
measure is a redshift, what they infer is a
only astronomer I ever knew who was meticulously
about this was Fritz Zwicky, who always used
the term 'indicative' recession
Halton Arp, Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies,
1987, pg. 11
Since there is no experimental or observable
evidence that dark matter exists, is it just a prop for the
beleaguered big bang theory? This highly speculative construct is
now combined with one just as fabulous—dark energy—to shore up
current cosmological dogma.
In the 1930s, astronomers
Fritz Zwicky and Sinclair Smith were puzzled by the motions they
observed within the Virgo and Coma galactic clusters. Everything
seemed to be moving too fast to be held in place by gravity. So they
conjectured that something they could not see was exerting a
gravitational effect on these clusters. But most astronomers were
only marginally impressed.
In the 1970s, however,
astronomers began to examine the rotational motions of spiral
galaxies such as our own Milky Way. The rotational speeds of the
stars that make up spiral galaxies are far too great, they said: At
such speeds the constituent stars should be flying apart. So
astronomers, accustomed to thinking only in terms of gravity,
calculated how much additional matter was required—and where—to fit
the observations. The idea of invisible
material or “dark matter” soon became essential if the observed
motions were to make sense gravitationally. Today astronomers say
there is far more dark
matter than visible matter acting on galactic structure.
In the years that
followed the questions only deepened, as the proposed “answers” grew
more complex and bizarre and theorists speculated about MACHOs—“
Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Objects”—and a presumed
counterpart called WIMPs—“Weakly Interacting Massive Particles”.
Then the theorists began to distinguish between “cold” dark matter
and “hot” dark matter, supplemented by “warm” dark matter and
“baryonic” dark matter.
beginning it has been a game accessible only to mathematicians. But
today, suspicions abound that the theoretical excursions have no
actual connection to anything occurring in nature. As The
Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe puts it,
"there is no experimental or observable evidence that dark matter
exists. It's a theory to make the big bang work".
the Electric Universe point out that astronomers can maintain the
“credibility” of this game only by insisting that electromagnetism
has no appreciable role in the organization of cosmic structure.
“And it isn’t as if the evidence for galactic magnetic fields and
therefore electricity is lacking!” laughs Wallace Thornhill, who has
devoted much of his life to exploring the role of electricity in
What is the nature of
“missing matter”, and does it even exist in truth? It is interesting
to note that astronomers cannot answer the first question, but do
not doubt the answer to the second. We see the contradiction
ratified daily in the popular
scientific media. A story at the Universe Today website begins,
“Dark matter is a mystery.
Astronomers know it's there because they can measure
the effect of its gravity on stars and galaxies, but they can't see
it”. Perhaps the author does not realize that the confidence he
exudes rests entirely on the astronomers’ conjectures. Their
equations “work” only in an abstract world, and only because the
mathematicians have systematically excluded electricity.
The diagram at the top of the page
shows the universal confusion between matter and mass. (It's a pity
both words begin with "m", say the electrical theorists; otherwise
mathematicians might not have gotten away with this sleight of
hand). Everyone recognizes the equation relating energy and
mass (E = mc2), but no one knows what gives
matter its apparent mass. One of the foundational
principles of physics states that matter cannot be created or
destroyed. Matter cannot be converted into energy or vice versa. In
other words, energy and matter are not equivalent and cannot be
lumped together as in the above diagram.
The truth is that we have no real
idea of the relationship between matter, mass, and gravity. It is
our ignorance of this relationship that has permitted the big bang
theory to flourish and has created the “problem” of missing mass.
Dark matter was invented to rescue a gravity-driven universe and to
make the big bang work, even if the theory requires “creation from
nothing" and must violate, in its first principles, every
fundamental law of physics.
Is there an alternative? Yes, plasma
cosmologists are waiting in the wings for working scientists to tire
of the theorists’ mathematical escapades, and to think first of the
things we actually know. Grant
the role of electricity on a galactic scale, and the case for dark
matter evaporates. (We can't say it disappears because we can't see
it in the first place!) Plasma physicists have successfully demonstrated
the formation and dynamics of the classic spiral shape (spiral
galaxy) in laboratory electrical discharges. And observations of
magnetic fields in spiral galaxies match the laboratory forms, which
are known to be scaleable over more than 14 orders of magnitude. The
magnetic fields trace the electric currents flowing along the spiral
arms of galaxies. Electromagnetic forces alone can
thus produce the classic structure and rotation of ubiquitous,
magnificent galactic formations. No dark matter required!