Originally posted by Palynka
Pretend I'm trained in physics and explain it to me. If I don't understand it, that's too bad, but at least I can try.
Ok. During the 20th century Astronomers made some kind of survey of the Universe and measured the velocity of the outer stars of galaxies and realised that they were bigger than it was supposed to be given the assumed masses of the galaxies. At first it was assumed that this was due to the astronomical amount of stuff that's out there and we can't se. Small planets, comets, asteroids, some feeble stars. But even with the wildest assumptions they could'nt come up with the given mass. So the conclusion was that there was something out there that only interacted gravitually with the resting matter. And why just gravitually. Because if there was some other kind of interaction we certainly see the results. Either x-ray radiation or any other kind of radiation. And massive amounts of that. Because the invisible stuff had to be something like 90% of the Universe. So if 90% of the Universe was interacting and we could only see the gravitational effects than or telescopes would bee really lousy.
But now the Dark Matter research has evolved a lot and I'm simply not up to date with it.It's notm my field of research, not one of my main interests, not what is given during undergraduations in Portugal and just too esoteric if you ask me. There are a lot of candidates to what the dark matter may be. Neutrinos, tachyons, supersymmetric particles and a whole lotta fauna if you ask me.
Besides that we have another field with much less proponents. That's MOND.Moddified Newtonian Dynamics. Nad their thesis is that F=ma is not always valid. Instead we have F=f(x)ma. The down points of this is that f(x) is not known and probaly won't ever be knowed. Ony it's assymptotic form can be given. For very small x, and here small is really big for us humans, f(x) is very near to 1. And for large x f(x) has the right value so has to see the dynamics we see. Not very smart I know but that's how things go on on physics. Very rarely a problem has neat solution right away.
http://www.math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/open_questions.html Scroll down a bit and you will find out what the experts say on that. Cause my explanation was very much pop-science. The main reasons to that is my lack of real, concrete knowledge on this stuff and the other is lack of time. I could give you a much better explanation if I wanted to, still very incomplete, but I have work to do.