Monday, April 09, 2007

 

Looking for White Space

I read an article in Discover Magazine yesterday (it's the May 2007 issue, can't find the article online yet) that discussed the search for dark matter in the Tower-Soudan mine in northern Minnesota. The article detailed the difficulty of finding dark matter because dark matter particles (called WIMPs - can't remember what that stands for, exactly) are supposed to be massive (that's the "M" in WIMPs), bigger than particles of matter. For all of the trouble researchers are going to (and it's a LOT of trouble according to the article), the thought occurs that they are attempting to catch the white space on a page of text. It's the thing that holds all the text together in a unified way. Well, dark matter is the thing that holds all matter together in a unified way. At least that's how I understand it. I'm not a physicist. In college art class, we had an assignment to draw the space surrounding our subject, which leads to quite an accurate portrait of that subject. Instead of attempting to catch a particle of dark matter, perhaps researchers could draw it out in a manner that mimics what we did in art class.

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