Daily Management Review

Researcher Proposes Black Matter Theory Behind Dinosaur Extinction


12/10/2015




Researcher Proposes Black Matter Theory Behind Dinosaur Extinction
There have been several theories on what resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs more than 66 million years ago.
 
However it was not until 2014 when researchers provided a theory that involved dark matter and meteors.
 
This theory has been proposed by acclaimed Harvard theoretical physicist Lisa Randall and has been detailed in  "Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs". 
 
Randall outlines a complex and radical theory. According to the theory, the mass extinction of more than 75 percent of life on the planet was the result of gravitational perturbations caused by a thin pancake-shaped disk of dark matter in the Milky Way galaxy. The sick of matter dislodged icy comets in the Oort cloud at the very edge of the known solar system, resulting in the fiery meteoroid that eventually crash-landed in the Yucatan and led to the destruction.
 
At the heart of this theory is black matter that, though comprising 85 percent of all matter in the universe, remains one of the mysterious components of the known universe.
 
Only 15 percent of all known matter in the universe is accounted for by ordinary matter. This makes the solving the mystery of dark matter so important.
 
The properties that make dark matter so mysterious are many. Dark matter does not interact with ordinary matter except via gravity. Light passes right through it and hence dark matter cannot be seen. Additionally, light is neither emitted or absorbed by dark matter.
As Randall puts it:“you can’t measure dark matter directly, you can’t feel it and you can’t smell it.”
 
Yet dark matter appears to permeate the entire cosmos and billions of dark matter particles pass through us every second.
 
According To Randall, one can only glimpse dark matter indirectly. The expansion rate of the universe is a result of another property of dark matter – it does have measurable gravitational effects. This also results in the bending of the path of light rays and irregularities in the orbits of stars.
 
“Even if you don’t see George Clooney directly, the disruptive traffic generated by the waiting crowd armed with cell phones and cameras suffices to alert you to a celebrity’s proximity,” writes Randall. “Though you detect the presence only indirectly, through George’s substantial influence on everyone else around, you can nonetheless be confident that someone special is near.”
 
The “dark disk” that Randall mentions in her writing is densely packed dark matter embedded within the plane of the Milky Way. This tugs at objects with outsized gravitational pulls. As happened 66 million years ago, this black matter exerted a combined gravitational tug so great that it dislodged big icy objects from their orbits in the Oort cloud. The cloud is located at the very edge of the solar system.
 
These big, icy objects rumbling through the solar system ultimately made their way through the solar system and reached Earth and resulted in the destruction of dinosaurs in a catastrophic fall of meteors.  
According to Randall, the flaming meteoroid that exploded over Siberia back in February 2013 fueled the search for a dark matter theory of dinosaur extinction.
 
(Source:washingtonpost.com) 






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