Crashing Through Dark Matter Walls

[Image: An otherwise unrelated image from NASA, an artist's rendition of the heliosphere and magnetic fields].

The Earth is "constantly crashing through huge walls of dark matter," New Scientist explains, "and we already have the tools to detect them."

This dark architecture in space consists of so-called "domain walls" that are like the boundaries between soap bubbles in foam. "The idea is that the hot early universe was full of an exotic force field that varied randomly. As the universe expanded and cooled, the field froze, leaving a patchwork of domains, each with its own distinct value for the field."

The Earth now randomly "crashes" through this "grid of domain walls"—a remnant "patchwork" of frozen, remnant force fields and now something perhaps less like soap bubbles and metaphorically closer to cosmic-scale magnetic ice, a structured frost we move through without seeing—on a scale of once every several years. So, not quite "constantly," as the lead sentence implies, but, given the age of the universe, I suppose that's constant enough.

But how do we find them, this grid of domain walls we apparently live within? We simply need to install dedicated magnetometers at stations around the world, and look for evidence of this colossal architecture wrapped all around us in the dark.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Moskowitz said...

Could you be a little more subjunctive in your phrasing? The article you're referencing specifically says they're speculating, and don't actually know how often Earth would be passing through these domain walls:

"If the grid of domain walls is packed tightly enough – say, if the width of the domains is several hundred times the distance between Earth and the sun – Earth should pass through a domain wall once every few years."

January 21, 2013 10:43 AM  
Anonymous john osborne said...

no larger lie than the truth Jim, all changes once every years

January 22, 2013 12:23 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Sure. Note, however, that the article also states: "Earth is constantly crashing through huge walls of dark matter, and we already have the tools to detect them. That's the conclusion of physicists who say the universe may be filled with a patchwork quilt of force fields created shortly after the big bang."

January 22, 2013 8:24 AM  
Blogger timquinn said...

Well, this is interesting. I thought Jim's comment about subjunctive phrasing was sarcasm. I am going to ask for clarification. In a general usage subjunctive means hypothetical or contingent. In grammar, which the phrase "subjunctive phrasing" would imply, subjunctive mood is used to turn an indicative phrase into a command. BLDGBLOG is entirely about hypothetical and contingent scenarios. Why would anyone come here and accuse Geoff of being too speculative? So maybe he meant to say Geoff should be more commanding in his prose, encouraging action or correcting error. Again, this seems an odd request from one who is apparently an outsider or newcomer. Anyway, my suspicion is he just stumbled upon the site by accident, maybe through a link aggregator, did not consider the nature of where he was and was essentially trolling in his comment. Elevating his opinion of himself as a tough critic without doing the work to make it true. It amuses me to think of my long critique of his use of the language when he is unlikely ever to read it or know about it, or anyone for that matter.

February 04, 2013 2:50 AM  
Anonymous James Everhart said...

It's difficult to discuss dark matter as we really don't have any way of detecting it - I disagree that we can detect it with current technology. It's incredibly theoretical, though I believe in its existence. I do't think the earth crashes through walls of dark matter, so much as dark matter is the absence of what we conceive as being emptiness. Hearing an argument about dark matter is reminiscent of hearing an argument about Dada.

March 14, 2013 8:23 PM  

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