Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Stuff that Makes the Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Baryonic Matter

Few Sundays back, I dished out a talk about "The Stuff that Makes the Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Baryonic Matter" at the National Museum | Planetarium. 

The lecture posits on the understanding of particle formation from the time when four forces of nature collapses at the onset of a Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. The particles, after the temperature of the cosmos cooled down, gave rise to the requisite elements for the advent of stellar birth and galactic clusters and ultimately to wheat is known today as the universe. 

Because the lecture somehow immersed highly on mathematical abstractions, some audience may have had a hard time crunching all the equations, derivations and conceptualizations. So a strong background on higher mathematics maybe necessary to absorb all the variables and constants. And some commented, it is an epistaxis-causing lecture, and that they might not be able to report for work the next day because of the endless streams of blood coming out of their nostrils. 

The mass component of the baryonic matters is not enough to account for the total mass volume of the universe. Simple Newtonian physics suggests that objects located even at the outskirts of the galaxy rotates with seemingly high angular momentum in its orbital path as with the objects near the mass concentration/luminous bulge. Thus a Dark Matter is taken into account, comprising 23% of the cosmic components. It was found out that the role of the Dark Matter is to clump clusters of galaxies together so that its circumnavigating objects local to the respective galaxies will not smear out of its structure. 
Dark Energy on the other hand is the energy of the vacuum that stretches the fabric of space and time in exponential rate. Dark Energy, on a mathematical sense, is essentially a positive energy density with a negative pressure. Two models were taken into consideration for its explanation, Quintessence and Quantum Fluctuation. By Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, when the conservation of energy is temporarily violated, it left an energy density hole in the vacuum. Dark Energy is said to be the downright victor in the tug-of-war of the Dark Matter and Dark Energy pulling against its other because of the 70% measured volume of the Dark Energy.
Same month, I have released two issues for the PJA: TOV Special Edition and the regular edition
Transit of Venus edition talks about the rarest phenomenon for this millennium, one that occurs in pairs every 240 years, with an 8 year interval. This transit is very significant to astronomers because it gave rise to the parallax mathematics, one that is being used in scaling the distances of planets. 
The regular edition, on the other hand, revolves around the most feared astronomical phenomenon in ancient times, the eclipses. This had undersigned the blueprints of every human history, where fortunes are framed, battles are fought, and crops planted, all in the belief that eclipses may make or break their fate. 
My maiden launch being a Managing Editor of the Philippine Journal of Astronomy, the country's first astronomical journal, is the "2012: Sham? Or Science" edition where the possibilities of the end of the world scenario in December 2012 is mathematically postulated, historically debated and scientifically probed. 

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