MessageToEagle.com - Little is known about this force and its its repulsive gravity, which is causing the
expansion of the universe to accelerate.
The riddles of dark matter and cosmic inflation, along with dark energy, these are the three pillars of modern
cosmological theory," and none of them can be explained with physics that we know," Michael Turner,
director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics says.
He calls dark energy "the most profound mystery in all of science", adding that cracking the problem requires
collaborations of original thinkers working beyond the limits of current theories.
"They're all pointing to new physics."
Simulation shows large-scale structures 13.4 billion years (the present) after the Big Bang.The bright
dots correspond with high concentrations of dark matter which are associated with sites of galaxy formation.
(Illustration courtesy of Andrey Kravtsov)
Kavli Institute scientists will investigate the dark energy question with many partners including Argonne
National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the South Pole Telescope and the Dark Energy Survey.
Cosmologists seek unified view of the universe: Michael Turner
The latter project, led by Fermilab, will collect data on approximately 300 million galaxies spanning
two-thirds the history of the universe in order to measure dark energy with new precision.
Argonne and Kavli Institute scientists will develop large-scale cosmological simulations on the laboratory's
supercomputers, as well as sensitive new detectors for the South Pole Telescope, which studies the cosmic microwave
background radiation leftover from the birth of the universe.
The mystery of dark matter may be easier to solve. Kavli Institute scientists hope to accomplish this feat within
the next decade. They suspect that dark matter is made of a new form of matter, something that does not consist of
quarks, neutrons or protons.
Dark matter simulation
This still from a computer simulation illustrates the formation of galaxy clusters and large
scale filaments of the universe. Courtesy A. Kravtsov
Dark matter may reveal itself through any or all of three means: direct detection via ground-based detectors at the
Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics (COUPP), indirect detection in the galaxy halo via satellites,
and production of the particles at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory.
"Right now, there is confusion - claims of possible detections, counter-claims, and spirited debate - and the time is
ripe to solve the dark matter problem. Our PFC hopes to shed critical light on dark matter," says Rocky Kolb, the University's
Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, who leads the PFC's dark matter effort.
Cosmic inflation is a different kind of problem. It has emerged as the most important cosmological concept since the
Big Bang theory, but many of its claims have not yet been thoroughly tested.
Inflation proposes that the universe expanded
extremely rapidly in a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang.
Such a swift expansion would explain some important
questions that Big Bang theory alone has been unable to answer.
"We have some circumstantial evidence that inflation took place, but we'd like to make the case very strongly," says
John Carlstrom, the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics. A more direct indication
of inflation would be to look for a minute sign of polarization in the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow of the
For the last decade, center scientists, including Carlstrom and the late Bruce Winstein, have been developing a technology
capable of measuring this polarization. Now they need to deploy that technology to see what they can find.
Radio Emission From Ultracool Dwarf Detected By Arecibo Telescope
The Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico has discovered sporadic bursts of polarized radio emission from the T6.5 brown J1047+21.
Because Arecibo is a single, fixed-dish telescope, it has a restricted practical sensitivity to weak, quiescent emission from radio sources...
Invader From Another Galaxy
This alien intruder from another galaxy is in many ways different from other exoplanets observed by astronomers.
Located about 2000 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Fornax (the Furnace), the Jupiter-like planet orbits a dying star of
extragalactic origin and risks to be engulfed by it.
Power To See Most Distant Objects In The Universe
The 3C294, is one of the most distant galaxies recorded by Chandra, the most sophisticated X-ray observatory ever built.
The cluster 3C294 is even 40 percent farther (!) than the next most distant x-ray galaxy cluster.
Chandra focus on X-rays from high-energy regions of the Universe and see the invisible.
It is so sensitive that it can capture images of particles as they disappear into a black hole deep in outer space.
"Pillars Of Creation" Are Gone
Every time you look at the beautiful and famous image of the Pillars of Creation taken by Hubble back in 1995,
you are actually admiring something that no longer exists.
In fact, the Pillars of Creation were already long gone by the time the image was captured!