Aw... how did I miss this thread? This is my specialty. Maybe because it's in the TV section for some reason.
This is just the equation a fellow came up with a while back to predict the chances of intelligent life other than us in the universe. It's handy, but a lot of the variables so far can't be observed directly and so have to be given an educated guess, so the actual answer isn't exactly agreed upon. Most tend to believe it's more than zero, though.
Tachyons are hypothetical particles that travel faster than light, and thus have the curious property of being able to go backwards in time (due to the mathematics of special relativity). Their existence would be cool, but there's a paradox: suppose we build a tachyon detector, and that we shot a beam of tachyons at this detector. Then when the tachyons are detected, this triggers the beam of tachyons to shut off. Supposing the tachyon traveled backwards through time and triggered the shut off mechanism before the tachyon itself was sent? So it's generally assumed that such a particle isn't real.
We already found out how to curve , slow , and stop light beams , which means we are on the way to figuring out how to build a dark matter decelirator
No, we're not, because no one even knows what dark matter is. Of course we can slow down light, and even stop it: glass does that, as does air, crystals, and a whole host of other things (refraction occurs because light slows down: this has been known since Copernicus). But light obviously doesn't interact with dark matter (otherwise we'd be able to see it), so these two phenomena are completely unrelated.
Also I was just watching the news , and I would like to say THEY FOUND IT! WATER ICE ON MARS! THEY FOUND ICE!
They've known that there was water on Mars for 400 years. This discovery is more concerned with analyzing the ice that they already knew was there.
As for dark matter, I'm afraid I'm yet to be convinced. Barking up the wrong tree. Circumventing the known laws of physics is what science is all about, but not chasing fairies.
Dark matter is real: we've observed its effect on galaxies, the expansion of the universe, and even took a picture of it
(well, you know what I mean: indirectly). We're still in the beginning stages of understanding it, though. But it's not a fairy.
It doesn't interact with the universe as we know of
Why else would it have been postulated?
Group of scientists #2: no, wait ... hang on ... okay, right ... There's all this matter, right, all this matter which would make the universe heavy enough. Only, yeah, only you can't see it, feel it, hear it -- in fact, you can't detect it in any way. So, yeah, we're right.
Because that's what observations showed, dating back to Edwin Hubble and later confirmed by countless others. This is all rooted in very clear observational data and well-known theory, friend. It's not just an excuse. Try studying it a little before you make judgments.
Tycho The Itinerant said:
There was an episode of Doctor Who that involved a sun-type star that was actually a living being. The concept intrigued me.
Haven't people found organic molecules inside of stars, too? I say, why not?
Well, if you're talking about firing up the Large Hadron Supercollider that's buried under Geneva... I'd think twice.
Nothing is going to happen. The folks running it even went ahead and, out of the kindness of their hearts, double and triple checked, both theory and observation, and found no reason to worry. Consider this: every second, incredibly volatile objects like white dwarfs or neutrons stars are bombarded with cosmic rays of energies much higher than any particle beams that could possibly be created with the LHC. The fact is, we don't see those objects imploding into black holes created by these collisions, EVER. So nothing is going to happen. Rest easy.
As for the original topic, they're sending up a new orbiter in 2010 called Keplar to track transitions of small planets across stars (and I think it's also equipped with a spectroscope, to determine atmospheric composition), so our knowledge of extra-solar planets should be increasing a great deal within the next couple of years. Though I think they should have gone with the Terrestrial Planet Finder, which uses interferometry to block out the parent star's light (thus not requiring the planet's orbit to be along our line of vision and increasing the number of potential bodies we could detect), but I guess that one got canned for some reason.