Bouncing Photons off Non-baryonic Matter

Team: 21


Area of Science: Astrophysics

Project Definition:

Throughout history outer-space has remained a subject of much discussion, first the question was how the sun and earth related with each other, then it became how the solar system functioned and now the great mystery is about dark matter. It is known that dark matter, a substance whose composition remains unknown, has a gravitational affect on everything in the universe and it is hypothesized that the universe is made up of at lease 90% dark matter. Yet it remains unknown what the universe would be like without the presences of this unknown compositional substance, dark matter.

Our project is to model the both the hypothetical universe without dark matter as well as the actual universe including the presence of dark matter. We will have to make several educated guesses about the composition of dark matter to model these two "different" universes, including how great an effect that dark matter actually has the universe.

Problem Solution:

We will begin with modeling the hypothetical universe without dark matter, the basic bodies such as stars, planets, and other MACHOs and WIMPs interacting with each other. Each of these bodies has a different gravitational pull on each of the other bodies, small as it may be. After completing this model we will begin to model the actual universe where the presence of dark matter is a large factor in the interactions that we observe. After completing both of these models we will then compare them and from that we will be able to determine the effect that dark matter has on the universe as a whole.

Progress to Date:

As of now we are part way through our model of the hypothetical universe. Our model is in Java and is able to show many of the interactions that we observe. However we are experiencing many bugs in our program and will need to continue to work these out in the near future before we are able to move on to the model of the actual universe. We have also started our final report as well as the presentation for the evaluations in February.

Progress to Come:

Over the next few months we will attempt to work out the bugs in our first model of the hypothetical universe and then we will need to move onto the actual universe. After completing each of these programs to our satisfaction we will then have to bring the two together and monitor the two until we are able to determine the effect that dark matter has on the universe. We will also complete our presentation and our final report.

Team Members:

  Chloe Williams
  Conner Hite
  Colin Williams

Sponsoring Teacher: Thomas Allen