New Light on Dark Matter

Dark matter supplies the gravity that holds galaxies and clusters together. Its relationship to dark energy is explained by a surprisingly simple mathematical derivation: Let D be the factor of dark. If we multiply both sides of the equation E = MC^2 by D we get DE = DMC^2 which implies that dark energy equals dark mass times the square of the speed of light. The purists would argue that the square of the speed-of-light has to be replaced by the square of the speed-of-dark, but since both speeds are equal (as a trivial result of special relativity) we conclude that dark matter and dark energy are one and the same. As wrong as our conclusion is, at least we admit the error early in the writing. We could have introduced a Lambda constant to one side of the equation and fidgeted with its value for the next fifty years, but we preferred not to prolong the agony. Sadly, our explanation is as good as they come.

The twentieth century saw humanity making peace with the notion that the universe is expanding. The Steady State people conceded and everyone moved on with their lives. Then a guy called Robert Kennicutt – known in chat rooms as SN1997ff – came along. On a bright un-clich’d summer night, this Robert went out to look for his favorite supernova. When he walked back into the house his face was ashen.

What happened next is purely speculative.

His wife of many years, a calm and supportive woman pursuing her own career as an ophthalmologist, noticed that something was wrong. ‘Did the nova run away again?’ She asked. He stared out the window at the night sky, not able to utter a word. She came up to him, gently putting her hand on his wrist, his pulse was not sinusoidal. She waited quietly.

–   I think I caught it red handed. He managed.

–   I’m sure it’s nothing more than the red-shift that Hubble and the rest of the guys agreed upon.

–   No, there’s something really strange going on out there, I am afraid this one is a more sinister and dark matter.

–   You can’t let these negative dark energies bring you down. She said; her soft voice barely audible above the hum of the background radiation. Are you sure you have sufficient data?

–   A month’s worth, collected by the Hubble telescope.

–   When was the last time they cleaned the mirror on that thing? Maybe there’s a blotch of Windex, like the last time?

He smiled in spite of himself. It is clean.

–   There has to be a reason, how far is this super nova? She was gentle but firm.

–   It is ten billion light years away. He answered, still avoiding contractions.

–   Is that 3,650,000,000,000 light days?

–   Yes it is.

–   864,000,000,000,000 light seconds?

–   Yes it is.

–   Darling, she paused, if you promised to meet me at a place which is exactly one light hour from where we are now, and either of one was one light second late, do you realize that it would be as if one of us was on the moon and the other on the earth? And you expect me to believe that you could tell how red with anger I was? What did you say your margin of errors was?

–   I will check my numbers in the morning, but the head of the department will be angry if theories change again.

–   You shouldn’t let that MACHO (massive compact halo object) push you around like a WIMP (weakly interacting massive particle). You’ll be fine, now come to bed.