On 30 November 2013 12:04, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the explanations. Ok, I think I now understand why dark
> matter is the best hypothesis.
> It is, to date. Neverthless, you would have been quite correct had it been
the anomaly in the orbit of Mercury that you were trying to explain, rather
than the anomalous rotation of galaxies observed in 1933 by Fritz Zwicky.
Pre-Einstein, various theories were advanced to explain the anomalous
perihelion advance of Mercury (relative to what Newtonian gravitation
predicted it should have been) including "hidden matter" - an undetected
planet (called Vulcan, as Trekkies and Dr Who fans will appreciate) and an
odd mass distribution inside the Sun.
But in that case, it turned out that the best answer WAS to modify gravity.
So far DM has remained the top explanation even as more phenomena involving
it have been discovered (garvitational lensing for example). Some of its
characteristics are now fairly well measured; its nature remains
unexplained... which makes life interesting for particle physicists and
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