[Paleopsych] NS: Dark-matter basketballs could explain a lot

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Sun Sep 25 20:06:07 UTC 2005

There were six articles on fascism, after all. Here's something entirely 

Dark-matter basketballs could explain a lot

      * 20 September 2005
      * Marcus Chown

THE universe's invisible matter may not be made of exotic unknown particles 
after all. Instead, "dark" matter could be clumps of the ordinary stuff trapped 
in a previously unsuspected state of the vacuum of space.

The dark-matter balls envisaged by Colin Froggatt of the University of Glasgow, 
UK, and Holger Nielsen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, are 
relics of a vacuum state which theory suggests could have been widespread in 
the first second after the big bang (www.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0508513). Each 
ball would not be much bigger than a basketball and atomic nuclei would have 
formed inside them just as they do everywhere else in the universe, only bound 
by a stronger nuclear force. The balls would be much denser than ordinary 
matter, with each one weighing 100 million tonnes.

To account for the known density of dark matter in the cosmos, there would have 
to be just one such ball drifting through every volume of space about the size 
of our solar system.

The new theory makes one important prediction - that there should be five times 
as much dark matter as ordinary matter. "That's exactly what is observed," says 

Ben Allanach of CERN, the European centre for particle physics near Geneva, 
Switzerland, admits the idea is wildly speculative. "But I can't think of 
anything specifically to rule it out," he says.

>From issue 2517 of New Scientist magazine, 20 September 2005, page 10

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