Saturday, 28 November 2009

Science and scientists

About 40 years ago the physicist Vera Rubin made a strange discovery: considering the weight (mass) of all stars belonging to the Andromeda Galaxy it turned too fast. In order to be clear, have a look at this merry-go-round. It turns at the right speed. But if it would turn ten times faster, the little chairs with the kids would first be horizontal and some seconds or minutes later the chains would break. Same for the outer stars of Andromeda. At the measured merry go round speed the galaxy should disintegrate!

The center of all those galaxies behaves in accordance with the laws of gravitation, see Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. The problem is thus only with the outer portion who does not fit in.

To make it simple (that's my specialty) there are two solutions: Einstein's law of gravitation has to be modified - because only partially correct - or some extra weight has to be added to those galaxies so as to make them behave as they should.

Thus the theory of the black matter has been invented. And as time goes by, the theory of the black matter turns into a fact. Right now, the black invisible stuff is staple food for 99,9 percent of all astronomers. And it should be said that the black matter has one big advantage: no need to tamper with Albert Einstein's findings. And that's important because he is something like a God of Science.

Cast doubt on Holy Albert's theory? Forget it. Let's better gorge those galaxies with some extra weight - in fact about 95 percent, to be added to the 5 percent of conventional matter we know - and the scientists can avoid to rock the boat, to create fuss, avoid the shit to hit the fan, to be considered a lame brain half-wit.

That is the spiral galaxy M81. I suppose this one, too, turns too fast but what a beauty. And here, last not least, is our advent wreath, made by my wife to hang above the chimney till year's end. A home-made galaxy.


  1. Hi George, That's one beautiful home-made galaxy, any dark matters involved? :)


  2. hi herr Georg
    i enjoyed reading your post, one of my favorite documentaries from the History Channel on TV, is Beyond the Big-Band, talks about the Black Matter theory, among many others, i think you'd like to watch it, hope you can finding on your TV programs or cable

    the documentary narrates how since Copernico, to Einstein to more modern physicists, astronomy, physics, & mathematics, have all complemented each other

    here a couple of chunks of the 2hr documentary, hope you can watch it altogether

    love the Lemaitre story, i am happily amazed that a catholic priest was able to refute (or complement) Einstein, ironically cool

    ah! and very lovely home-made galaxy :)

  3. To Hiva,

    Thanks for the compliment. I'll tell it to my wife. This is the first time she built the galaxy type. All previous years it was conventional mortuary wreath type.

    To Berenice,

    Thanks for those links. I'll try then out. So you are interested in Science, too. It's a fascinating subject and changes us from the staple-food-sitcoms.


  4. coucou george!!!
    tu en connais des choses!!!
    tu féliciteras Elisabeth pour sa réalisation.
    tu lui fais aussi une bise.

  5. You always make me think, Georgy! :o) Adding to Berenice's excellent list, ucsd (University of California - San Diego) had just uploaded a really interesting clip on the subject ( ). It makes me wish I had gone into physics instead of premed-chemistry in college!

    We're having gorgeously cloudy and cool weather (to most of my San Diegan friends' distress). I'm having a spectacularly lazy Sunday after having tired myself out going to North Park Toyland Parade yesterday morning and then December Night celebration at Balboa Park in the evening. The House of Germany was filling the courtyard at International Cottages complex there with the irresistible aroma of Bratswurst and sauerkraut. And the House of France had some pretty good onion soup out, too. :o) Hope the weekend is going well your way!

    Smorgy :o)

  6. Hallo Smorgy,

    Thanks for commenting.
    I had a look (a long look) at this YT video: interesting indeed. So we are both interested in astronomy and physics.

    I wanted to be an astronomer when I was a kid. Later on I found out that my math capabilities were insufficent and next I really like to sleep at night, every night, no exception. So I gave up before starting.


  7. regardless of what the scientific greats say about the origin/make up/break up of galaxies, I really feel humbled when I gaze at those little we matter in that big picture and yet we carry within a monumental ego that believes that each one is or ought to be treated as the center of our (little)universe :)

    This feeling has been with me ever since my first visit to the planetarium as a seven year old...

    I love the home made galaxy Georg ...would support life for sure with all the warmth that emanates from it .

  8. Il y a des moments où les chercheurs ne prennent pas le temps de bien prouver ce qu'ils pensent avoir découvert. C'est arrivé souvent et ça arrivera encore bien d'autres fois.
    Avec la couronne de l'avent au moins tu es tranquille.
    Tu ne peux pas laisser de messages sur le haut dans les articles de présentation, ce n'est pas proposé pour le moment.
    Pour ce que tu dis de la langue occitane, c'est assez vrai, mais au moyen âge, les pays du Comté s'étendaient du massif Central jusqu'au "fond" de l'Aragon et tous se comprenaient.
    Moi, j'aime cette langue, même si je ne suis pas tout à fait d'ici!
    Un bisou

  9. You read my mind Georg, my post for this month was going to be about Astronomy.
    Ahh, but you wrote about it so much better than I could have that I forgive you and chose something else to post.

    I will post on astronomy at another time, it will give you a good laugh since I really know so little about it. lol
    I am just learning.

    Great post Georg and lovely pictures too. I really enjoyed this post.

  10. I have been engaged in Blog world lately..just stopped to see how are things with you...Have a happy New Year !

  11. Je viens te souhaiter une belle et douce journée de Noël, ici c'est la fête des enfants.
    Un gros bisou

  12. Hi George. It was nice. whenever I think about these unlimited measurments of the world I became sad of people who are fighting and killing each other.
    My country is in serious problems recently. I don't know if you have heard of green campaign of Iran or not but it's a fact that people are being killed in the street for illustrating their moral demands.
    If there is a kind God looking at us from his holy place so why he is silent to this much cruelty?

  13. For Somi

    Well, the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy is this:
    in a dictatorship you are told: shut up, otherwise....whereas in a democracy you hear "keep talking....

    As to the kind god (or not so kind):
    what about considering there is nothing out there, no holy place, no good natured or bad tempered god. I know this idea is not very fashionable in your country. Just consider the possibility.

    Pour Viviane
    Pour toi aussi, meilleurs voeux pour la nouvelle année. Nous pourrions en avoir besoin.

    To Frieda
    Thanks for stepping by. Wish you all the best for the next year. We may need it, all of us. Within this week I'll come to see what you have to tell.

    To Exseno
    There is this proverb saying one can tell a lot about a subject one knows nothing about. I'll have a look at your blog in the very next days<


  14. Bonne et heureuse année 2010.

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  16. Bonne soirée.
    Un bisou.

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  19. Hi Georg,
    How cold is it in Washington?
    We are freezing here. Brrrr

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