Distractions in the Dark

Well, you’ve probably guessed that I’ve been somewhat distracted for several days. In fact, my main focus for the past week has really been on computer issues, frustratingly. I’ll give you the blow by blow later, I hope, but the last couple of days have been the most frustrating of all, and so I’ve not been dealing with much else, including blogging. Part of that is actual logistics – some of the things I wanted to post are on the afflicted computer – and some just the sheer annoyance of not having solved the issues driving me to do something totally non-computer related like going for a hike or seeing a movie.

So tonight i think I have a new theory – well, hypothesis- of what’s wrong, after a good deal of the day spent on detective work. It is a conjecture that is supported only by hearsay and circumstantial evidence, but is nonetheless for it. I shall have to see if I can test it properly tomorrow, as I’m certainly done with this for the day.

So I hope that tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll be back to normal(ish) and can do some posts that might be of interest. In the meantime, I’ll point you to a rather good article* on Dark Energy by Dennis Overbye, writing in the New York Times this Tuesday edition. The basic science is the perhaps familiar story you’ve heard about here (be sure to read it if the term or concept “Dark Energy” is not very familiar), in essence, but there are comments from a number of scientists that you might not have heard from on the topic before (such as Ed Witten), and a discussion (a very important one) of future experiments/observations that might be done/made and the constraints placed on budget to do some of these. Well worth a read.


*Thanks Shelley!

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One Response to Distractions in the Dark

  1. Elliot says:

    As an aside for those in and around Chicago, Dr. Michael Turner (quoted in the article) will be speaking at:

    [Cafe] Cafe Scientifique (Chicago) – June 16! – mark the date regarding government funding for these experiments:

    “The Dark Side:
    from Dark Energy and Dark Matter to Washington and Science Policy”

    Michael S. Turner

    Monday 16 June 2008
    7-9 pm

    The Map Room – 1949 North Hoyne Ave Chicago, IL (Limited to first 50 Attendees) http://www.maproom.com/events.htm

    Cosmology is in a golden age of discovery and understanding. Using telescopes, underground detectors and accelerators, cosmologists are poised to answer big questions — what is the dark matter that holds
    our galaxy and every structure in the Universe together? What is the nature of the dark energy that is causing the expansion of the Universe to speed up? And What happened before the big bang? This exciting research is largely funded by the federal government in a way that is
    more complicated than rocket science, but which has broad support from the public.