Prominent cosmologist Simon D.M. White has written a provocative paper
posted to the astrophysics arxiv complaining that too much time is being devoted to the quest to understand the nature of the elusive dark energy
: "Dark Energy is undeniably an interesting problem to attack through astronomical observation, but it is one of many and not necessarily the one where significant progress is most likely to follow a major investment of resources."
He worries generally that observational cosmology/astrophysics/astronomy may turn away from the construction of instruments of general utility (such as the Hubble Space Telescope
), to concentrate on a small number of massive experiments narrowly focused on solving particular problems (such as WMAP
and the Large Hadron Collider
), to the detriment of the "quirky small-science"
type of astronomy.
posted by snoktruix
on Apr 21, 2007 -
The Pioneer Anomaly.
Something's up in deep space: the Pioneer spacecraft
, now out of contact, have shown an unexplained Doppler drift, indicating sunward acceleration, effectively decelerating the probes cumulatively. The effect may be be nongravitational, and could be explained by any number of factors: an undiscovered twist in Newtonian physics, localized cosmological contraction issues, or just venting gas. Other deep space probes may have experienced the anomaly as well, and a new mission could explore the puzzle
; but for now, all we have is past Pioneer data, and that's stored on old 9 track tape
which can only be read by antique readers. What's to be done? (Also see Pioneer Odyssey
for a nostalgic romp through those early days of deep space exploration. And NASA, bring back the original Pioneer home page
posted by brownpau
on Jun 13, 2005 -
So you think the expansion of the universe is accelerating? Think again!
(Contains links to full paper in .pdf etc.)
posted by stuporJIX
on Dec 21, 2001 -