AiSC STI 04 Team Abstract

Team Number: 3.0

Team Name: Heavy Thinkers

Area of Science: Astronomy, Mathematical Modeling

Project Title: Variable Gravity or How Much Do You Want to Weigh?



The current theory of the universe calls for a strange substance called "dark matter" that provides the mass to hold together all the galaxies that we observe. This stuff has many strange characteristics much like the mythical ether that was proposed to carry light one hundred years ago. No experiments to date have confirmed the existence of this matter. Like ether, some physicists today are proposing that an adaquate explanation of what we observed can be provided by simply having the force of gravity not be a constant as has been assumed up to this point.That is to say that "dark matter" does not exist. We will take current mathematical models of gravity and stars and modify them to see if the variability of gravity would hold together galaxies as they really are. We will compare the size and number of stars a model galaxy would have with constant gravity vs some variable values of gravity. We will have models run in excell, java and Starlogo.

Team Members Jeffrey K Raloff - Dale Henderson

Sponsoring Teacher(s)

Project Mentor(s)