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Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe.

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Presentation on theme: "Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe

2 Mass within Sun’s orbit: 10 11 M Sun Observable stars and gas clouds: ~few 10 9 M Sun

3 Dark Matter: An undetected form of mass that emits little or no photons, but we know it must exist because we observe the effects of its gravity Dark Energy: An unknown form of energy that is causing the universe to expand faster over time Dark matter and dark energy

4 “Normal” Matter: ~ 4.4% –Normal Matter inside stars:~ 0.6% –Normal Matter outside stars:~ 3.8% Dark Matter: ~ 25% Dark Energy~ 71% What is the Universe made of?


6 Spiral galaxies all tend to have flat rotation curves indicating large amounts of dark matter

7 The visible portion of a galaxy lies deep in the heart of a large halo of dark matter

8 measure the velocities of galaxies in a cluster from their Doppler shifts Mass is 50 x larger than the mass in stars!

9 Clusters contain large amounts hot gas: emits x rays Temperature of hot gas tells us cluster mass: 85% dark matter 13% hot gas 2% stars

10 Gravitational lensing of background galaxies also tells us the mass




14 Ordinary Dark Matter (MACHOS) –Massive Compact Halo Objects: dead or failed stars in halos of galaxies Extraordinary Dark Matter (WIMPS) –Weakly Interacting Massive Particles: mysterious neutrino-like particles The Best Bet What is dark matter made of?

15 MACHOs do not cause enough lensing events to explain all the dark matter

16 There’s not enough ordinary matter WIMPs could be left over from Big Bang Models involving WIMPs explain how galaxy formation works Why Believe in WIMPs?

17 Gravity of dark matter is what caused protogalactic clouds to contract early in time 

18 WIMPs don’t contract to center because they don’t emit photons, so they can not radiate away their orbital energy

19 Maps of galaxy positions reveal extremely large structures: superclusters and voids

20 WIMP models agree better with observations

21 Critical density of matter Not enough dark matter Fate of universe depends on the amount of dark matter Lots of dark matter

22 Amount of dark matter is ~25% of the critical density suggesting fate is eternal expansion Not enough dark matter

23 But expansion appears to be speeding up! Not enough dark matter Dark Energy?

24 Brightness of distant white-dwarf supernovae tells us how much universe has expanded since they exploded

25 Accelerating universe is best fit to supernova data

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