By Gianfranco Bertone
A unprecedented discovery has lately shaken the principles of Cosmology and Particle Physics, sparking a systematic revolution that has profoundly converted our knowing of our Universe and that's nonetheless faraway from over. Pioneering astronomers within the Twenties and Thirties had already spotted suspicious anomalies within the movement of celestial our bodies in far-off galaxies and clusters of galaxies, however it wasn't until eventually the past due twentieth century that the clinical group was once faced with an magnificent end: the Universe is stuffed with an unknown, elusive substance that's essentially diverse from something we now have ever visible with our telescopes or measured in our laboratories. it truly is referred to as darkish topic, and it constitutes probably the most urgent demanding situations of contemporary technological know-how. during this publication, geared toward the final reader with an curiosity in technological know-how, the writer illustrates in non-technical phrases, borrowing recommendations and concepts from different branches of artwork and literature, the far-reaching implications of this discovery. It has resulted in a global race to spot the character of this mysterious type of topic. We should be approximately to witness a pivotal paradigm shift in Physics, as we got down to attempt the lifestyles of darkish topic debris with a wide range of experiments, together with the big Hadron Collider at CERN, in addition to with a brand new new release of Astroparticle experiments underground and in area.
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Extra info for Behind the Scenes of the Universe - From the Higgs to Dark Matter
Lurking in the dark 29 Pocket universes How do we validate our model of the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the appearance of life on the Earth? As with any other scientiﬁc model or theory, we can never prove it right (the best we can do is to prove it wrong, or “falsify” it), but we can at least test how well it can explain observational data. This is, however, a daunting task, especially when one considers that even the three-body problem—the problem of describing the orbits of three celestial bodies under their reciprocal gravitational attraction—is extraordinarily difﬁcult, and can only be solved in some simpliﬁed cases.
Are quarks and leptons truly fundamental particles, or are they composed of even smaller constituents? Is it possible to unify all forces and interactions in one simple, elegant theory? One of the most compelling arguments is the so-called hierarchy problem, which manifests itself in all its virulence in the calculation of the mass parameters of the Higgs boson. As is well known, the Higgs boson was recently discovered by use of the CMS and ATLAS detectors at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and its mass turns out to be around 125 GeV.
Similarly, we cannot see dark matter, but we can estimate its abundance through astrophysical observations. If it is so abundant, where is it? One of Gollum’s riddles for Bilbo in The Hobbit comes to mind: It cannot be seen, cannot be felt, Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt. It lies behind stars and under hills, And empty holes it ﬁlls. Dark matter is everywhere: it travels unnoticed through every object and through us, and it permeates the entire universe at all scales. This “dark scaffolding” acts as the supporting 28 Behind the scenes of the universe structure for all astrophysical structures, from dwarf galaxies to the largest superclusters, while stars and gas, much less abundant, sit comfortably at the bottom of an immense “gravitational well” of dark matter, like marbles at the bottom of a well in sand.