Daily Roundup

The downside to being excited about science and sharing everything I can get my hands on is that I don’t remember to collate all the links I have on Facebook. So instead of worrying about how little I’m doing or reading, I’m going to kill two birds, etc, by posting everything I read — and my brief thoughts on them — everyday.

The news about the researchers at Dundee University inventing a real-life sonic screwdriver, for instance, is a little bit of a hoot. I wish more articles about this actually included a link to the paper (or the abstract), but the research might have real uses, besides the lulz factor.

In other — rather more disappointing news — Chilean astrophysicists have mapped out a very large amount of mass near our Sun and have proven that, whatever’s making the Milky Way’s outer edges rotate so quickly might not be dark matter. Or, to put it more accurately, the predicted dark matter can’t be detected from Earth. This is pretty significant, since it seems as though 83% of the matter in the universe is made up of dark matter. It seems to be a rather elegant technique consisting of calculating the mass of the objects in space around the Sun, based on what we can actually observe. If the dark matter actually existed, there would’ve been a severe discrepancy between what we’ve seen and the mass that actually appears to exist.

Things in space are clearly getting more and more interesting.


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