Here's a link to an article published at phys.org, entitled "Serious blow to dark matter theories? New study finds mysterious lack of dark matter in Sun's neighborhood". The following image and caption also accompanied the article:
This annotated artist’s impression shows the Milky Way galaxy. The blue halo of material surrounding the galaxy indicates the expected distribution of the mysterious dark matter. New measurements based on the movements of stars show that the amount of dark matter in this region around the Sun is far smaller than predicted and have indicated that there is no significant dark matter at all in our neighbourhood. The blue sphere centred on the Sun’s position shows the approximate size of the newly surveyed volume, but not its precise shape. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada
(Phys.org) -- The most accurate study so far of the motions of stars in the Milky Way has found no evidence for dark matter in a large volume around the Sun. According to widely accepted theories, the solar neighbourhood was expected to be filled with dark matter, a mysterious invisible substance that can only be detected indirectly by the gravitational force it exerts. But a new study by a team of astronomers in Chile has found that these theories just do not fit the observational facts. This may mean that attempts to directly detect dark matter particles on Earth are unlikely to be successful.
Theories predict that the average amount of dark matter in the Sun's part of the galaxy should be in the range 0.4-1.0 kilograms of dark matter in a volume the size of the Earth. The new measurements find 0.00±0.07 kilograms of dark matter in a volume the size of the Earth.Hmm, quite the head scratcher! It's almost like the act of observing dark matter changes its nature, from something indeterminate and amorphous to something much more specific. Now what, what does that remind us of?
Does Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics allow for the possibility that observation causes something to not be observed? At first, this seems like a contradiction. But with this project we've talked often about how this logic works when applied to our physical reality: if all possible outcomes connected to "now" really do exist within the underlying quantum wave function, then observing one outcome doesn't mean the others somehow disappear, it only means that we're not observing them. By observing the version of the universe where I had an apple and half a protein bar for today's breakfast, it's now impossible for me to observe the version where I had bacon and eggs this morning. But Everett's theory says that those "other" versions of the universe really do continue to exist even though we can't see them.
So what's unique about our solar system that would cause dark matter to disappear within our vicinity? Well, how about the fact that there are so many lifeforms actively engaged with the quantum wavefunction, not just passively observing random outcomes but sometimes actually choosing one path or another? Could such a concentration of observers be "adding focus", so to speak? Since the beginning of this project I've always maintained that dark matter will eventually be used to confirm the physical existence of the other universes that are "just around the corner in time", as I say in my song The Unseen Eye.
Think about this: the standard imagery used to describe gravity is to think of space-time as a flat rubber sheet, and to think about massive objects causing depressions in that sheet. And the standard description of the cosmological horizon is that no matter where an observer is in the universe, they will find themselves to be right at the center. So if I take these ideas and now think of our universe's fifth-dimensional probability space as a flat rubber sheet, here's what I'm visualizing: vast expanses of that sheet will lie undisturbed, as a superimposition of possible states. But here and there we'll see places where the sheet is distorted, and if we could observe the entire universe with the same degree of accuracy that the astronomers in the above article were able to achieve within the vicinity of our solar system, that would be our guide to finding the scattered locations throughout the universe where life has taken hold. And according to these new findings each of these distortions would be where there is less dark matter as a result of those concentrations of quantum observers!
Is this a flight of fancy, a conjecture, with no math to back it up? Of course! As always, please keep in mind this project is a creative exploration of ideas, food for thought being tossed out for other minds to munch on.
Enjoy the journey!
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