Episode 11: Of matters dark with Kai Nagata

This is called an "Einstein ring". The mass of the (orange) galaxy is warping the image of the (blue) galaxy lying directly behind it. this is called gravitational lensing.

I am SUPER excited about this show. Firstly, In my corner I’ve recruited Ken Clark, and the super scientist known as Amanda Bauer.

In the other corner, our guest is Kai Nagata.  Kai’s a guy who isn’t shy to show us why we need journalists with integrity. In the spring of 2011, he shocked all of canada by telling us all why he had to quit his job. Even Then, I knew that I needed to have him on my show! Since then, he has been busy. Recently, he made a sweet viral video  lambasting the “ethical oil” publicity campaign and Ezra Levant (that butt). It Involves rapping muppets.

I’ve brought all of these superstars together today, because we are going to talk about DARK MATTER.

Guest: Kai Nagata

Physicists: Amanda Bauer, Ken Clark

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

2 thoughts on “Episode 11: Of matters dark with Kai Nagata

  1. The hypothesis of dark matter sounds to me a clever attempt to apply a patch to the established theory of gravitation. The observation might have revealed a hole in this theory. Drawing from falsification, even one single clear contracting evidence is sufficient to call for a new theory. Not in physics apparently where the best minds have turned to searching the illusive patch (Dark Matter) they have just applied to their troubled theory. The rotation of planets around a Sun in the solar system may have no relation at all with the rotation of disc-shaped bodies such as galaxy.

    • Hi Jim!
      The point you are making is an astute one. There is, indeed a third possibility: that our theory of (newtonian) gravity is wrong, just as you said. There are physicists who are currently exploring this possibility, which is referred to as Modified Newtonian Dynamics (or MONDs). The idea is that we change the law of gravity in order to explain this without introducing any matter. MONDs were rather popular when I was an undergraduate.

      When we recorded the show, we had a medium length discussion of MONDs. I chose to cut the discussion, since it caused the show to be 10 minutes over time. I consider MONDs to be an appendix to the discussion because even though they DO allow us to draw galactic rotation curves (by definition), they fail to help us predict dynamics at larger than galactic scales.

      I was also convinced by the Bullet Cluster that maybe MONDs are not the correct interpretation.
      However, science is an ecosystem of ideas, and I wish the people who are studying MONDs all the health they can manage. Observational evidence will surely decide a winner in time.

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