from the world's big
Dark Matter and Dark Energy Don’t Exist. New Theory Says the Universe Works Without Them
This could change everything we know about gravity and universal expansion.
Before the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), it was thought that the universe was slowing in its expansion and might someday fold back in on itself. In 1998, the HST revealed that rather than slowing, the rate of universal expansion is actually picking up. We still don’t know why.
One explanation is dark energy. Rather than allowing the universe to expand at a constant rate, dark energy pushes it along, causing it to pick up speed. Astronomers can only detect it indirectly, by measuring the distance between galaxies, for instance.
Dark energy is thought to comprise roughly 68% of the known universe, and dark matter 27%. Yet, we only know about them in terms of gravity. In other words, scientists can only detect them indirectly, by how they cause stars and galaxies to move and behave. For instance, the amount of matter inherent in galaxy clusters alone doesn’t account for the gravity that keeps them together. Some other force must be involved. Here, dark matter is the most common answer.
Astrophysicists have been postulating the existence of dark matter for about a century. Swiss astronomer Fritz Swicky was the first to see that there was far more matter in the universe than we could directly observe. Though he postulated this in 1933, US astronomer Vera Rubin made the concept more popular in the 1970s, when he used it to try and illustrate how stars move and at what velocity.
Australian and U.S. astrophysicists won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2011, for their 1998 discovery of the Hubble Constant. This is the rate at which the universe expands. Since then, despite many attempts to detect dark matter and dark energy, no progress has been made.
The Big Bang and the accelerated expansion of the universe. Credit: Coldcreation. Wikipedia Commons.
Now, André Maeder, honorary professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), has a radical theory that's shaking up astrophysics. He says neither dark matter nor dark energy exist. These concepts he believes are no longer required. The Swiss physicist can demonstrate how the universe works without them. His findings were published recently in a series of papers in The Astrophysical Journal. So how does this new model work?
It all surrounds what’s known as scale invariance. This is when the properties of something do not change no matter how you measure it, regardless of scale. We can multiply their energies or lengths by whatever number and they do not change. Certain fractals for instance, if we zoom in or fade back, remain the same size and shape. Their properties don’t change. The same is true of empty space. Whether you pan out or in, it's the same. This isn’t exactly foreign to physics. Scale invariance is actually a fundamental part of the theory of electromagnetism.
The Weiner process works on scale invariance, seen here. Credit: Cyp, Wikimedia Commons.
Maeder proposes that instead of dark matter or dark energy, we’ve simply forgotten to include scale invariance into the Standard Model—our current model of the universe. This has so far been developed mainly from Newton’s universal gravitation, Einstein’s general relativity, and quantum mechanics.
"In this model, there is a starting hypothesis that hasn't been taken into account, in my opinion," Maeder said. "By that, I mean the scale invariance of empty space; in other words, empty space and its properties do not change following a dilatation or contraction." If this is true, it would change everything we know about gravity and universal expansion.
What’s different is that Einstein believed empty spaced operated on what’s known as the cosmological constant. Today, we’d interpret it as a form of dark energy. Maeder’s model instead includes scale invariance in empty space. He tested his hypothesis on the accelerated expansion of space, and it worked without the need for dark energy. He also applied it to galaxy clusters. Their behavior was in line with Maeder’s calculations.
The Musket Ball Cluster. This controversial hypothesis can explain why star clusters stick together. Credit: Getty Images.
In another test, Maeder showed that he could account for why stars in the outer reaches of galaxies move faster than those within them. Dark matter is the usual explanation. Lastly, he accurately illustrated the dispersion of certain stars as they travel through the Milky Way, which until now has been difficult for astronomers to understand.
These findings are controversial. The Frankfurt Institute’s Sabine Hossenfelder, a physicist blogger, called Maeder’s hypothesis inconsistent. While astrophysicist Katie Mack of Australia’s University of Melbourne, said it’s been “massively overhyped.” There’s other evidence for dark matter she said, in the cosmic microwave background, the residue of the Big Bang. It’s also present in how galaxies are distributed. Finally, a phenomenon called gravitation lensing also hints at dark matter.
Though there are other ways to interpret Einstein, that doesn’t mean they’re true, Mack said. Until Maeder’s hypothesis is proven across a number of observations and measurements, his theory won’t supersede that which is already in place. But if he succeeds, it’ll be a paradigm shift in our entire understanding of how the universe operates.
For more on how the universe works from a more traditional view, click here:
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?
- Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
- The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
- Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
How masturbation affects your brain...<p>Orgasms are a very common human phenomenon. The physical and mental health benefits have been researched frequently as a result, and yet, there is still so much to be learned about how our bodies and brains react to the chemicals and hormones released during and after experiencing this type of sexual release.</p><p>"The amount of speculation versus actual data on both the function and value of orgasm is remarkable" explains Julia Heiman, director of the <a href="https://kinseyinstitute.org/" target="_blank">Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction</a>.</p><p>Masturbation causes a rush of <a href="https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine" target="_blank">dopamine</a>, which is a chemical that is associated with our ability to feel pleasure. Along with the rush of dopamine that is released during an orgasm, there is also a release of a hormone called <a href="https://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html" target="_blank">oxytocin</a>, which is commonly referred to as the "love hormone."<br></p><p>This concoction of chemicals does more than just boost our mood, it also can play a key role in decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. Oxytocin decreases <a href="https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-cortisol" target="_blank">cortisol</a>, which is a stress hormone that is usually present (in high volumes) during times of anxiety, fear, panic, or distress. </p><p>According to BDSM and fetish researcher <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/dr-gloria-brame-colbert-ga/278388" target="_blank">Dr. Gloria Brame</a>, an orgasm is the biggest non-drug induced blast of dopamine that we can experience. </p><p>By boosting the oxytocin and dopamine levels and subsequently decreasing our cortisol levels, the brain is placed in a more relaxed, euphoric, and calm state. </p>
Masturbation boosts your immune system and raises your white blood cell count.<p>How do those effects on the brain from reaching orgasm translate to boosting our immune system and making our body healthier?</p><p>The increase of oxytocin and dopamine that causes a decrease in cortisol levels can help boost our immune system because cortisol (well-known for being a stress-inducing hormone) actually helps maintain your immune system if released in small doses. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.health24.com/Sex/Great-sex/incredible-health-benefits-to-masturbating-20181030-2" target="_blank">Dr. Jennifer Landa</a>, a hormone-therapy specialist, masturbation can produce the right kind of environment for a strengthened immune system to thrive. </p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15316239" target="_blank">A study</a> conducted by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen (in Germany) showed similar results. A group of 11 volunteers were asked to participate in a study that would look at the effects of orgasm through masturbation on the white blood cell count and immune system.</p><p>During this experiment, the white blood cell count of each participant was analyzed through measures that were taken 5 minutes before and 45 minutes after reaching a self-induced orgasm. </p><p>The results confirmed that sexual arousal and orgasm increased the number of white blood cells, particularly the natural killer cells that help fight off infections. </p><p>The findings confirm that our immune system is positively affected by sexual arousal and self-induced orgasm and promote even more research into the positive impacts of sexual arousal and orgasm. </p>
Masturbation can ease and prevent pain, which allows you to achieve the restful sleep that helps your immune system stay strong and healthy.<p>The benefits of masturbation have long been debated, but the more research that is done on the topic the more we understand that there are many positive reactions that happen in our bodies and brains when we orgasm.</p><p>Orgasms can help prevent or mitigate pain, which boosts the immune system, preventing cold and flu symptoms. </p><p>According to neurologist and headache specialist Stefan Evers, about one in three patients experience relief from migraine attacks by experiencing sexual activity or orgasm. Evers and his team <a href="https://www.livescience.com/27642-sex-relieves-migraine-pain.html" target="_blank">conducted an experiment</a> with 800 migraine patients and 200 patients who suffered from cluster-headaches to see how their experiences with sexual activity impacted their pain levels. </p><p>The study showed that 60% of migraine sufferers experienced pain relief after participating in sexual activity that resulted in orgasm. Of the cluster-headache sufferers, about 50% said their headaches actually worsened after sexual arousal and orgasm. </p><p>Evers suggested in his findings that the people who did not experience pain relief from migraines of headaches during their sexual activity did not release as large amounts of endorphins as those who did experience pain relief. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.sharecare.com/health/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-affect-immune-system" target="_blank">rheumatologist Dr. Harris McIlwain</a>, people who suffer from chronic pain have immune systems that are simply not functioning at full capacity - therefore, alleviating pain (through orgasm, as an example) can help boost the immune system. </p><p>Orgasms can also promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep. Serotonin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine are all hormones that are released during sexual arousal and orgasm, and all three are known for counteracting stress hormones and promoting relaxation, which makes it much easier for you to fall asleep.</p><p>There are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1233384" target="_blank">several studies</a> showing that serotonin and norepinephrine help our body cycle through REM and deep non-REM sleeping cycles. During these sleep cycles, the immune system releases proteins called <a href="https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity" target="_blank"><span id="selection-marker-1" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span>cytokines<span id="selection-marker-2" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span></a>, which target infection and inflammation. This is a critical part of our immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released throughout our bodies while we sleep, which proves the importance of a good sleep schedule to a healthy immune system.</p>
Masturbation promotes a high-functioning immune system; a healthy immune system prevents cold and flu.<p>The immune system is a balanced network of cells and organs that work together to defend you against infections and diseases by stopped threats like bacteria and viruses from entering your system. While there are many things we need to do to keep our immune systems functioning at optimal levels, masturbation (or other means of achieving orgasm) has proven to have positive effects on the immune system as a whole.</p><p>Just as bad habits (such as an inconsistent sleep schedule or harmful chemicals in your body) can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system. </p>
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.