5 April 2013

Dark matter: particle physics' answer to astrology

As predicted some posts ago, particle physicists need a new "mystery" to get funding. Supersymmetry is dead, strings are dead, so now they need something else. What is left? Only dark matter.

In the coming years, we will see a huge marketing campaign for this concept. Of course, every astronomer knows that "dark matter" is just a name for the stuff they have not yet detected because their detectors are not good enough. But the money-hungry particle physicists are falsely promoting this form an experimental issue to a fundamental mystery. (Remember the "Voyager deceleration mystery"!)

This means that we will see articles in Scientific American, programs in US mass media, prizes by Russian oligarchs, contests by the FQXI foundation and the Templeton foundation, and special funding programs by US science foundations within the federal government. We will hear that understanding "dark matter" is essential to ensure that US science is competitive and has a future.

Indeed, we will read, hear and see a lot of nonsense in the coming months. The command center will not be the IAS in Princeton, because the IAS has already disqualified itself as an institution promoting string theory. The command center of the delusion will be some other institution, which will then do a wonderful job to disqualify itself in the next 20 years.

When all the involved particle physicists hill have retired or died, around 2030, particle physics might start to become a healthy discipline again. Until then, being a particle physicist is as valuable as being an astrologer: both tell lies to get money.