Groping in the Dark
"Observing Dark Energy," a symposium held at the Omni Tucson Golf Resort and Spa 18-20 March, 2004. After a long and dicey journey, the student enjoyed a suite with front door facing the swimming pool and back door facing golf courses. She also enjoyed the chance to present a paper ask her puzzling question about 4.507034%. She was deeply disappointed that there was no "dark energy" to observe. 4 years later they've still not made any progress.
Last week the Space Telescope Science Institute held a "Symposium on Dark Energy." Even the revered Ed Witten was at a loss to explain it or even point the way toward an explanation. The assembled big brains can not even agree on a strategy. The proposed Joint Dark Energy Mission must be chosen from at least three competing candidates. (This is "Joint?") The hypothesis of repulsive energy leads to a divergence of solutions. A tiny industry has grown up around "dark energy" theories. Even if JDEM is launched it will not return a single wave or particle of DE, just an "equation of state." An unsuccessful idea would keep many theorists busy for decades with their non-success.
The May 10 issue of NEW SCIENTIST spotlights the work of astrophysicists Jean-Phillipe Uzan, Chris Clarkson and George Ellis. Their proposal would look at high-redshift quasars in different parts of the sky to see if expansion is uniform. Some theorists like David Wiltshire have suggested that different regions of the Universe expand at different rates. NEW SCIENTIST continues:
"If this is true, the case for dark energy would start to look shaky. Dark energy is thought to be accelerating the expansion of the universe. But if expansion rates differ over areas of space rather than time, it would scupper dark energy models that assume acceleration is uniform."
Ruth Durrer of the University of Geneva in Switzerland likes the idea. "It could have a profound effect on the interpretation of the apparent acceleration," Durrer says. "It could help us get rid of dark energy."
You go, girl! A lot of smart people are uncomfortable with DE, and they are coming out of the woodwork. If the model is not questioned, science could run around in epicycles for decades. JDEM is a nice idea, but even with it there will be no solution involving "dark energy."
GM = tc^3, a child could figure it out.
Labels: dark energy