A Ray of Light in a Sea of Dark Matter offers readers a concise, accessible explanation of how astronomers probe dark matter. Readers quickly gain an understanding of what might be out there, how scientists arrive at their findings, and why this research is important to us. Engaging and insightful, Charles Keeton gives everyone an opportunity to be an active learner and listener in our ever-expanding universe.
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About the Author
CHARLES KEETON is an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Rutgers University. He has worked with the Hubble Space Telescope and observatories in Arizona and Chile, and published more than 90 articles in astronomy journals. In 2010, Dr. Keeton received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama.
Table of ContentsPreface
1_________ What's in the Dark?
Astronomers use a variety of intellectual tools to study objects they cannot touch or even see.
2_________ When Mass Is Like Glass
Gravitational lensing can be understood through an analogy with a glass lens shaped like the base of a wine glass.
3_________ How Do You Weigh a Galaxy?
The motions of stars and light rays probe a galaxy's gravitational field, and hence its mass.
4_________ Is Dark Matter MACHO or WIMPy?
Gravitational lensing within our galaxy helped demonstrate that dark matter is not just normal matter that is hard to see. It must be something exotic, which physicists are now trying to catch.
5_________ Finding What's Missing
Conventional dark matter theory predicts that galaxies are surrounded by invisible clumps of dark matter. Lensing can help find them.
6_________ "A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away"
Clusters of galaxies act as cosmic telescopes, helping astronomers study distant objects that would otherwise be too small and faint to see.
GlossaryNotes on Sources