Segments in this Video

What Does Dark Matter Mean to Humans? (01:50)


Dark matter binds stars and galaxies together. There is a dark repulsive energy that is creating space in the universe, driving galaxies further apart. Uncovering the secrets of dark matter may reveal clues to the fate of the universe.

Looking for the Invisible (01:27)

Dark matter is unlike anything encountered on earth. It influences the galaxies in how they form and how they spin. Science has not directly proven that dark matter exists. Despite its invisibility, evidence of its existence can be observed.

Missing Matter (02:53)

A converted iron mine is used to detect dark matter. Scientists first looked for dark matter a century ago. Edwin Hubble declares the universe is larger than the Milky Way. Fritz Zwiggy observes that the mass of galaxies was more than the objects seen.

Unexpected Observations (02:50)

The weight of objects in space is determined by measuring their speed. Gravity appears to explain the motion of objects in space. Fritz Zwiggy and Vera Rubin both observe motion contrary to what is expected.

Vera Rubin's Estimations (01:18)

Dark matter acts on galaxies to keep their rotation constant. Scientists should observe planets flying away. A halo of dark matter surrounds the galaxy, keeping it whole. Vera Rubin estimates that there is ten times more dark matter than "ordinary illuminated stuff."

Gravitational Lensing (01:36)

Scientists uses the nature of light to observe how it bends because of gravity. The distortion of light passing through dark matter reveals how much is present. Photographic images are used to map dark matter.

What Is It? (02:53)

Investigating objects in the universe that do not emit light gives clues to what dark matter is. Scientists look to Black holes, M.A.C.H.O.s, Brown Dwarfs, neutrinos, and axions to account for the amount of dark matter present. Dark matter is a new kind.

Unusual Particle (01:37)

Characteristics of dark matter are: has mass, does not travel at the speed of light, does not interact with matter except through gravity, passes through matter. WIMPs are hypothetical particles that serve as a possible solution to the dark matter problem.

Searching for WIMPs (02:52)

WIMPs, a hypothetical particle serve as one possible solution to the dark matter problem. Fermilab uses the Soudan mine to try to observe dark matter passing through. The depth of the mine helps filter out other particles.

One in a Million Shot (02:26)

Scientists at Fermilab and elsewhere have yet to detect dark matter directly. The theory is plausible, but needs investigative proof. Detecting dark matter might also answer some of the questions surrounding the beginnings of the universe.

Framework for the Universe (02:38)

There is no direction in the sky from which the galaxies are expanding. The Big Bang started the universe. Ordinary matter was interacting. The slow moving dark matter acts as scaffolding to which ordinary matter can attach.

3-D Map (02:45)

Scientists make a 3-D map of dark matter in the universe. This map shows that it is the framework for the visible material of space. Astronomers estimate the composition of space to be 23% dark matter, 4% ordinary matter and 73% dark energy.

Dark Energy (02:00)

Dark energy is a repulsive force driving galaxies apart. New measurements show that the universe is speeding up in its expansion. Edwin Hubble first noticed this expansion. Scientists use the red shift of light to measure expansion.

Measuring the Universe's Acceleration Rate (02:56)

To measure expansion history, scientists use progressively farther galaxies. They use Type 1A supernovas as markers. Constant surveillance is needed. The amount of light from distant Type 1As is compared to the amount of near Type 1As.

Shocking Results (02:51)

Measurements show the expansion rate of the universe to be accelerating, exactly opposite of expectations. Dark energy is a repulsive force overcoming the action of gravity. Galaxies are being carried away as more space is created.

Runaway Universe (03:50)

Individual galaxies remain constant in size while the universe is getting bigger. Dark energy dominates the attractive forces of gravity and dark matter. Einstein theorized dark energy eighty years before anyone else had a clue.

Einstein's Biggest Blunder (02:53)

In the early twentieth century, the universe was thought to be only as big as the Milky Way. Einstein's calculations showed a universe that must either expand or contract. He introduced a Cosmological Constant, now called Dark Energy.

Exponential Expansion (01:21)

Scientists are just beginning to understand the effect dark energy will have on the universe. Unless dark energy changes, its expansion rate will increase. The laws of physics and dark energy predict a very lonely outcome for the universe.

Theory of Everything (00:36)

With the discovery of dark matter, scientists are one step closer to developing a simple equation that will explain the entire workings of the universe. This could be the crowning achievement for two thousand years of man's investigation of nature.

Conclusion and Credits: Dark Matter (00:45)

Dark matter and dark energy are not fully understood but hold clues to the mysteries of the universe.

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Dark Matter

Part of the Series : The Universe
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



What, exactly, is dark matter? In this program, scientists theorize as they struggle to understand dark matter’s unique properties. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series The Universe. (45 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL43145

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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