By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.
When it comes to my science writing I have always taken a cautious, conservative approach. The above shown heading to this blog post may seem to some to deviate from the path of caution. I assert this claim, that dark matter does not exist, not out of reckless abandon, but through the need to make known to all that the time has come to dispel a foolish belief. It is only because I make this announcement through the medium of the Internet that I choose a headline so boldly sensational. It is because I need to attract your attention, dear reader, that I so boldly assert the non-existence of dark matter.
For those readers not fully informed about the controversy, dark matter, be it either hot or cold, has been used to explain the perception of a deficit of mass in the universe. With regard to cold dark matter, this deficit refers to the apparent deficiency in the mass of galaxies, and clusters of galaxies, to maintain the flat rotational velocity profiles observed by astronomers since the 1920’s. The astronomer Fritz Zwicky was the first to notice the apparent deficiency of mass within a cluster of galaxies that would be able to maintain the flat rotational velocity profiles indicated by the Doppler Effect upon the spectrum of light carried from the galaxies within a cluster to his telescope. He was followed by the astronomer Vera Rubin who herself found that the light spectrum reaching her telescope indicated a flat rotational velocity profile for the stars circulating within a rotating galaxy. Using the predictions of Newtonian mechanics both Zwicky and Rubin concluded that there was insufficient mass visible to their detection to account for the observed flat rotational velocity profiles. Thus began the quest to explain this missing mass.
Although Zwicky and Rubin observed the mass deficit in different aspects of galactic motion the data analysis is the same. Using the three dimensional potential for Newtonian gravity both were led to believe that there must exist matter invisible to their detection to account for the velocity profiles they observed. Subsequent observation made by other scientists confirmed the observations made by both Zwicky and Rubin that indeed the rotational velocity profiles were flat. But Newtonian mechanics predicted that the rotational velocity profiles could not be flat unless there is much greater mass within the galaxies than was thought to be. Henceforth came numerous proposals to account for the mass discrepancy.
The most enduring hypothesis was that of exotic matter, a type matter unknown to mankind, such that it could escape our detection. The quest has raged for more than forty years to uncover this source of exotic mass but all inquires found nothing. No exotic dark matter has ever been found because none exists. The solution to the conundrum lay in the data analysis undertaken, first by Zwicky and Rubin, and then by all subsequent astronomers. They did it wrong.
What? What, you say! How could astronomer after astronomer repeat the same mistake within the data analysis for so many years? As extraordinary as the assertion may seem, it becomes far more credible when you understand that within a science progress is made by building upon the work of the early masters. If they should go astray it sometimes takes the viewpoint of an outsider to recognize the error. This occurs with greater frequency as our scientists become more and more specialized. Specialization comes at the cost of universality. Few modern scientists have any proficiency outside their specialization and even fewer seek interdisciplinary interests.
I came upon this problem of the missing mass in astronomy through a desire to apply my theory of the peculiar velocity field to the measurements made of the peculiar velocity of stars and galaxies observed by astronomers. I had developed my theory of the peculiar velocity field to describe the motion of polymer molecules within solutions. I was aware of the observation of peculiar velocities in astronomy and considered astronomy to be an excellent field in which to apply the theory because of its use of classical mechanics. Upon examining the data analysis used to evaluate the velocity profiles I recognized that the data was two dimensional but that astronomers were using the three dimensional Newtonian potential. When the data analysis is done properly there is no mass discrepancy.
I am making a bold assertion and do not expect the reader simply to take my word as gospel. My analysis of the dark matter controversy is presented in my book Peculiar Velocity in Action. In the book I solve the dark matter conundrum and also carry the application of my theory of the peculiar velocity field into the nucleus of atoms. There, in my application of the theory of the peculiar velocity field to nuclear physics, I use quantum mechanics, as opposed to the use of classical mechanics in my application to astronomy, to describe the structure of nuclei from Helium to Aluminum. In the book I suggest other applications of the theory of the peculiar velocity field and give the example of an application to the motion of stock prices within a stock exchange. So, dear reader, even if your interest is not within physical science, you could benefit from an understanding the motion of objects described within the context of the peculiar velocity field. Read my book Peculiar Velocity in Action and you may find applications within your own field of interests.