Dark Energy
March 30, 2005 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Dark *matter* fpp here w/ some discussion of dark energy
posted by dfowler at 8:08 AM on March 30, 2005

Edward 'Rocky' Kolb was the first prof I had in college, 8:30 in the AM Monday morning. I walked into my Cosmology class, the first in a six-quarter, two-year science sequence for non science majors and assumed that we had been given a grad student to teach our class. This guy seemed too young, too irreverent and so dynamic and compelling. Then I discovered he's one of the men running the Fermi Lab. Moreover, that first quarter, first year class was the one and only undergrad course he taught.

Why? Because he and the other profs in the Natural Sciences sequence, including Biology and Punctuated Equilibrium god David Jablonsky wanted to make sure the writers and philosophers and politicians and otherwise policy-makers of tomorrow understood how we got from the Big Bang to the formation of planets to the development of the solar system and earth to the evolution and structure of life on earth from amino acid etchings on rock right up to humans today. So that they wouldn't be liable to fall prey to crap science, so they would know the importance of clear headed analysis and perspective and value science. And you know what? It worked.

Which may be even more impressive and significant a contribution to the world IMO than the possibility of overturning dark energy as the source of expansion theory. Sorry for the feel-good digression, just wanted to assert that Rocky is a god.
posted by the_savage_mind at 8:46 AM on March 30, 2005

Let me get this right: with our instruments of detection, we are only able to see 5 percent of universal types of matter? Crazy stuff.

Dark energy always seemed like a bogus explanation to me, but that's probably b/c I'm nowhere near a scientist. If I had to bet on either side of this debate, I'd go with Kolb, just cuz I like the longshots.

New data will soon allow us to distinguish between our explanation for the accelerated expansion of the universe and the dark energy solution.

I'll be waiting! Thanks for the info. Wouldn't have seen this otherwise.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:10 PM on March 30, 2005

Try a paper, it's not as dense as it could be. This just boils down to a decent explanation for the null hypothesis. It's also good to note that cosmology is really, like early quantum mechanics, just a bunch of geniuses doing insanely complicated curve fitting. Still really cool though.
posted by apathy0o0 at 11:38 PM on March 30, 2005

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