Have Scientists Finally Found Dark Matter?

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The International Space Station (NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

Dark matter makes up more than 80 percent of the matter in the universe. But up until now, it’s eluded scientists.

Yesterday, however, NASA announced a possible breakthrough. A particle detector mounted on the International Space Station may have detected dark matter. The detector is called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and it measures cosmic ray particles in space. These measurements appear to have uncovered dark matter.

Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and author of the New York Times bestseller “Physics of the Future.”

“Every high school text book says the universe is made out of atoms,” says Kaku. “Every textbook could have to be re-written because we now realize that most of the matter in the universe is made out of dark matter, invisible matter. This illusive matter that holds the galaxy together.”

Kaku notes that this substance is crucial to our existence: “If it wasn't for dark matter, by the way, we wouldn't be here. The earth would have been flung into deep space. The galaxy would have flown apart." This is because the Milky Way spins 10 times faster than one would expect.

Kaku explains that this must mean that there is an invisible halo of dark matter surrounding the galaxy holding it together. "With the Hubble Space Telescope we now have maps of dark matter…by looking at the bending of starlight around the galaxies."

“If it holds up, for the first time in human history, we have detected a new form of matter other than atoms,” says Kaku. “It could be worth a Nobel Prize, in fact a second Nobel Prize for Dr. Sam King.”

Guests:

Dr. Michio Kaku

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]

Andrew from Right here.

I am embarrassed for you. Basically you are flat-earthers and will one day soon look back in shame. A gravity only mind set is magical thinking. Hockenberry get an empirical scientist on your show with some real chops. Anthony Perat would be a far more fascinating than this hocus pocus segment.

I put in a haiku for you...
Gravity is weak.
Electricity is strong.
Dark matter is wrong.

Cheers!

Apr. 05 2013 12:01 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

50 Shades of Dark Matter that matters...

Dark Matter = Krazy Glue of the Universe

Dark Matter is the rubber band of a golf ball unraveling. What do we find if we unravel all the dark matter?

Apr. 04 2013 02:10 PM
Perry from Portland

Human hubris again rears its ugly head. The galaxy moves 10 times too fast? Says who? I get scientists have to speak in plain language to communicate complicated scientific theories, but to say the galaxy moves too fast for it's own good is just dumb. Our galaxy and the universe is the way it is because the way it is the way it's supposed to be.

Apr. 04 2013 01:28 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Dark matter (only called dark because it doesn't reflect light) sounds like a sort of stepping stone between matter and grace - it has gravity, but can't be seen, and passes through ordinary matter. Wonderful.

Apr. 04 2013 09:59 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.