Patricia Burchat sheds light dark matter

Patricia Burchat is a professor of experimental physics at Stanford and former chair of the physics department.
She specializes in dark matter/dark energy. Here is a link to her 2008 Ted Talk. There are many amazing metaphors that could be explored here in the physical space created by dance.

In a nutshell, Perlmutter, Schmidt and Riess won the NOBEL for discovering that the universe is accelerating while it’s expanding, totally contrary to expectations that held that because of gravity, the universe’s expansion should be slowing down. No question that this is Nobel Prize worthy research, as it totally shook the foundations of cosmology when it was announced. Soon after the discovery the term “dark energy” was coined, and it was calculated to make up three quarters of the known universe.

But what about this other “dark” stuff that’s out there; dark matter, the idea that most of the matter in the universe is invisible?
The person most associated with laying the groundwork for the theory is Vera Rubin at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. In the 1960s and 1970s, Rubin and her collaborator Kent Ford analyzed the rotation of galaxies and found some startling anomalies. The outer edges of galaxies should be rotating around at much slower speeds than the central region, but Rubin and Ford found that the galaxies were rotating around at more or less the same speed at all points.

Needless to say this was really weird. Predicting how a galaxy should rotate should have been easy; one just needs to estimate how much mass is in the galaxy based on the visible stars, plot the distances of stars from the center of gravity and plug in those factors into orbital equations that have been around since the time of Johannes Kepler. However Rubin and Ford’s observations defied all of the models about galaxy rotation. Clearly something else was going on, but what? They dubbed it the galaxy rotation problem.

Several theories have come forward to explain the galaxy rotation problem. By far the most popular is that there’s a kind of matter, dubbed “dark matter” out in the universe that simply does not emit or reflect light or any other kind of electromagnetic radiation. This matter is often referred to as Weakly Interacting Massive Particles or WIMPs. So far dark matter has corresponded with just about all of the observational results, not just aligning with the rotation of galaxies, but also explaining how galaxies cluster together and how light bends in parts of space where there doesn’t seem to be anything there.
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Main IDEA for our piece:
We will have 3 clusters of dance styles( or 3 different movement constellations). Maybe occasionally a dancer who can hop into another cluster according to his/her ability will dance in another constellation. There can be different groups onstage at any different time—juxtaposition–influencing–rotating around but at some point these 3 groups wil all expand to take up the entire Roble floorspace! Each movement constellation will not only have a different dance style but different telepathic or telekinetic gifts….to offer to the audience and each other??

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