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Basic Astronomy Concepts

Dark Matter

physics today, radiant energy, astrophysicists, visible light, gamma rays

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>  The Discovery of Dark Matter

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Dark Matter, in astronomy, designation for matter that does not give off or reflect detectable electromagnetic radiation, the radiant energy that includes visible light, radio waves, infrared radiation, X rays, and gamma rays. Although dark matter is practically invisible, astrophysicists have determined its existence by detecting its gravitational interaction with matter that does give off detectable electromagnetic radiation, such as stars, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies. Dark matter has become a vital component of modern theories of cosmology and elementary particle physics. Along with the phenomenon of dark energy, the puzzle of what dark matter is represents one of the most important questions in physics today.


Johnson, Clifford V., B.Sc., Ph.D.

Professor of Physics, University of Southern California; winner of the 2005 Maxwell Medal from the Institute of Physocs in the United Kingdom.

Article key phrases:

physics today, radiant energy, astrophysicists, visible light, gamma rays, infrared radiation, X rays, Dark Matter, radio waves, important questions, designation, astronomy, existence, puzzle, stars

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