what the first webb pix tell us about dark matter

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MrPosti...@kymhorsell.com

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Jul 29, 2022, 7:48:22 AMJul 29
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I *like* this kid. :)

<https://thedebrief.org/life-not-as-we-know-it-probing-the-nature-of-dark-matter/>

Life Not As We Know It: Probing the Nature of Dark Matter

Avi Loeb
26 Jul 2022
The Debrief

Our scientific knowledge is spotty, like islands in an ocean of
ignorance. The best visual illustration of this state of affairs is
the "deep image" from the Webb Telescope, revealed in a public
announcement at the White House on July 11, 2022.

The image shows a cluster of galaxies that lenses gravitationally the
wallpaper of dwarf galaxies from up to 13.1 bn years ago. The
starlight appears in the image as bright islands on a dark background.
But the gravitational lensing effect is dominated by the dark ocean of
matter surrounding the starlight. If this dark matter were luminous
and ordinary matter were dark, the image would have been far brighter,
looking like the sky on a sunny day, filled with light and peppered
with tiny dark clouds. But Webb's image is the opposite of that,
telling us that what we know is less than what we have to learn.

It is a signature of human-centrism to presume that most of the
interesting action in the Universe involves the minority of matter
that we see, just because we are familiar with it from our Solar
system. Such a bias echoes the mindset of an infant who imagines that
there is nothing exciting outside home.

So far, all our attempts to produce dark matter in particle
accelerators by smashing familiar particles with high energies at each
other failed. At the same time, the history of relativity and quantum
mechanics suggests that nature is more imaginative than we are.

The simplest assumption to make is that dark matter particles do not
scatter off each other, just as they do not scatter off ordinary
matter. This assumption leads to tensions between theory and
observations of dwarf galaxies. These are the building blocks of
galaxies like our Milky Way, which was assembled out of mns of
dwarf galaxies at early cosmic times. Observing these Lego pieces
directly would allow us to probe the nature of dark matter.

The potential for discovery with the Webb Telescope is great, keeping
in mind that its deep image was obtained with an exposure lasting half
a day. Extending the exposure time to 3 weeks, as was done with
Hubble's eXtreme Deep Field, would allow the Webb Telescope to detect
dwarf galaxies that are 6 times fainter than those seen in its
preliminary deep image.

...

--
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.
Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."
- Marie Curie

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