Friday, February 10, 2006

I Met That There Beatrice Dalle Last Week

I sit next to this man while at work. I am still reserving judgement on the music but I have to say that Nagasaki does exactly etc …

There was some wonderful music for the drive this morning and it all mixed up with the lights over the view towards Winter Hill and the unexpected biscuity smell which came in at some point to make it all seem very relaxing. The biscuit was the same smell as that of the general cooking smells which came from out domestic science lab which of course brought back great sheets of memory of that time.

Anyway the real content for today should be based on the Horizon programme about Dark Matter which was on last night. Now horizon has gone downhill a lot recently – too much gimmicky graphics and the concentration on disagreements in the scientific community but they could not have done this show without highlighting the conflicts between various models of the Cosmos. They did talk about some “accepted model” but who accepts it? Anyway it was an area I’ve not really bothered about a lot and was quite interesting. My wife was away to her diary despite me asking her why she happily sat through the programme about Intelligent Design vs. evolution but couldn’t face the physics. I suspect I answered my own question with the question itself there. Bottom line here is that a small part of the universe is formed of atoms – this is the bit we see – stuff like coffee, aardvarks and us – some of it is the old Dark matter which we can’t see and indeed can’t detect at all and the rest – most of it – is whizzy Dark Energy which sounds like The Force to me. All very nice with the loose ends not only tied off but wrapped up with pretty bits of pink tape just to keep it really tidy. Oh well! It would be good to know that this was the end of it but of course the real final answer just keeps receding into the distance, trying to get back to God I like to think.

The early part of the programme did make me think of a question I have long been meaning to investigate. Some early work which confirmed the need for the existence of Dark matter, involved the measurement of the speed of stars as they obit the centre of a galaxy. Now the speed of the planets around the sun decreases on a defined basis the further you get from the sun. Stars in Galaxies however, seem to orbit at a constant speed and it was this observation that prompted the thought that it was the extra Dark Matter which was doing this (in a way I cannot explain because I don’t know enough about gravity and even less about how Gravity affect Dark matter). Now I have to leave this argument here but something I have worried about for years is if galaxies appear distorted because of the difference in time for light to travel to us from their opposite edges. Galaxies are hundreds of thousands of light years across and there rotation time is measured in hundreds of thousands of years (may need to check that). Therefore, should the positions of the stars on the furthest edge of a galaxy be not where they should be in relation to the real position of the closer stars. Even if the galaxy is face on to us, trig will mean that the distance to the outer stars is longer than to the inner stars. It all probably just cancels out – I have this gut feeling that circular motion produces smooth curves. I wish I could be bothered to stuff some numbers into what must be simple equations. Well I suppose relativity comes in – or does it? We are talking about the time it appears to take to us for the light to travel the extra distance. How about a later report ?

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