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Thread: Can dark matter kill you? This research paper says yes.

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Can dark matter kill you? This research paper says yes.

    This paper compares injuries suffered from Dark Matter to gunshot wounds. Seriously.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.06674

    Death by Dark Matter
    Jagjit Singh Sidhu, Robert J Scherrer, Glenn Starkman (Submitted on 15 Jul 2019)

    Macroscopic dark matter refers to a variety of dark matter candidates that would be expected to (elastically) scatter off of ordinary matter with a large geometric cross-section. A wide range of macro masses MX and cross-sections σX remain unprobed. We show that over a wide region within the unexplored parameter space, collisions of a macro with a human body would result in serious injury or death. We use the absence of such unexplained impacts with a well-monitored subset of the human population to exclude a region bounded by σX ≥ 10^−8 − 10^−7 cm^2 and MX <50 kg. Our results open a new window on dark matter: the human body as a dark matter detector.
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2019-Jul-18 at 12:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    This paper confuses me.

    I thought it had been established that dark matter does not interact electromagnetically with ordinary matter.

    They seem to disregard this, talking about - not just impacts with humans - but atmospheric entry drag.

    (On the plus side, we may finally have an explanation for Spontaneous Human Combustion! )

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    (On the plus side, we may finally have an explanation for Spontaneous Human Combustion! )
    Alas, it's just drunk people who fall asleep smoking cigarettes.

    I read some strange things at arXiv, but this paper was one of the weirdest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    This paper confuses me.

    I thought it had been established that dark matter does not interact electromagnetically with ordinary matter.

    They seem to disregard this, talking about - not just impacts with humans - but atmospheric entry drag.

    (On the plus side, we may finally have an explanation for Spontaneous Human Combustion! )
    I'm not sure, but I think that dark matter is hypothesized to interact (like neutrinos do) with the weak force.
    As above, so below

  5. #5
    I don’t know whether it can kill you, but I think it has already driven some people mad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    I don’t know whether it can kill you, but I think it has already driven some people mad.
    Yes, and the neurosurgeons scream for more!
    As above, so below

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Yes, and the neurosurgeons scream for more!

  8. #8
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    This is talking about either microscopic black holes (which by most theories should evaporate very quickly, but this isn't proved by observation), or extremely massive particles in the kilogram to ton range that aren't black holes. If we allow such particles, they don't have to carry the weak force (but could), and they would be potentially dangerous by their gravity tugging on parts of your atoms as then pass through you causing some ionization. These are unlikely forms that Dark Matter might be taking, but so far, not excluded by observation.
    Forming opinions as we speak

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    This paper confuses me.

    I thought it had been established that dark matter does not interact electromagnetically with ordinary matter.

    They seem to disregard this, talking about - not just impacts with humans - but atmospheric entry drag.
    They're talking about a particular sub-category of dark matter called Macroscopic Dark Matter ("macros") - that includes Primordial Black Holes, MAssive Compact Halo Objects, and chunks of exotic matter like quark nuggets.
    An intriguing possibility is that macros could be made of Standard Model quarks or baryons bound by Standard Model forces.
    So these are completely distinct from the weakly-interacting non-baryonic dark matter that must make up the bulk of dark matter.
    And there's a long history of looking for these objects by the damage they would cause when interacting with conventional matter. See, for example, "Unexplained Sets of Seismographic Station Reports and A Set Consistent with a Quark Nugget Passage", Anderson et al. (2003). If you were in the vicinity of one of these quark nuggets as it passed through the Earth, it would surely make a hole in you.

    Grant Hutchison

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    They're talking about a particular sub-category of dark matter called Macroscopic Dark Matter ("macros") - that includes Primordial Black Holes, MAssive Compact Halo Objects, and chunks of exotic matter like quark nuggets.
    Thanks. I read the stuff about Macros with confusion, thinking it was a conjecture of their paper - not knowing that it was already a thing.

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