PDA

View Full Version : Dark Flow, is this a valid theory?



mmaayeh
2010-Jan-02, 08:47 AM
I have read about a subject about Dark Flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_flow) once and I am not sure if this has been validated or peer reviewed by the scientific community or what is the overall verdict of this theory. So, did anyone hear anything new about this and is there any further information on this subject? Or, is it a flawed theory and is going the way of the dinosaurs already?

galacsi
2010-Jan-02, 10:41 AM
I have read about a subject about Dark Flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_flow) once and I am not sure if this has been validated or peer reviewed by the scientific community or what is the overall verdict of this theory. So, did anyone hear anything new about this and is there any further information on this subject? Or, is it a flawed theory and is going the way of the dinosaurs already?

Hello MMaayeh , Welcome to the board and Happy New year (if you care for our calendar).

I cannot answer to your question but want to thank you for remember me of it and of the excellent link imbedded in the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunyaev-Zel%27dovich_effect.

Galacsi

SolusLupus
2010-Jan-02, 12:03 PM
Or, is it a flawed theory and is going the way of the dinosaurs already?

As far as I know, the existence of the dinosaurs is still a valid theory. :)

Andrew D
2010-Jan-02, 01:59 PM
As far as I know, the existence of the dinosaurs is still a valid theory. :)

ha.

Cougar
2010-Jan-02, 03:57 PM
I have read about a subject about Dark Flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_flow) once and I am not sure if this has been validated or peer reviewed by the scientific community or what is the overall verdict of this theory. So, did anyone hear anything new about this and is there any further information on this subject? Or, is it a flawed theory and is going the way of the dinosaurs already?

Welcome to the board, mmaayeh. This is a perfect type of question for this site. Unfortunately, the answer may not be a simple yes or no.

The original 2008 paper [pdf] (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/pdf/276176main_ApJLetters_20Oct2008.pdf) by Kashlinsky, et al. was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, which is indeed peer reviewed.

However, respected UCLA astrophysicist Ned Wright pointed out a number of errors (http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/dark-flow-errors.html) in the paper. Kashlinsky, et al. responded to Dr. Wright, maintaining support for their finding.

So at least we can say the finding is controversial and not independently confirmed. The popular media and bloggers sure picked up on the story though, and, typically without reference to the controversy, added their own misguided interpretations to what it might mean.

This is why science requires observations and findings to be repeatable.

mmaayeh
2010-Jan-02, 04:12 PM
Welcome to the board, mmaayeh. This is a perfect type of question for this site. Unfortunately, the answer may not be a simple yes or no.

The original 2008 paper [pdf] (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/pdf/276176main_ApJLetters_20Oct2008.pdf) by Kashlinsky, et al. was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, which is indeed peer reviewed.

However, respected UCLA astrophysicist Ned Wright pointed out a number of errors (http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/dark-flow-errors.html) in the paper. Kashlinsky, et al. responded to Dr. Wright, maintaining support for their finding.

So at least we can say the finding is controversial and not independently confirmed. The popular media and bloggers sure picked up on the story though, and, typically without reference to the controversy, added their own misguided interpretations to what it might mean.

This is why science requires observations and findings to be repeatable.

Thanks Cougar, yes that is what I mean, I looked up some stuff on Dark Flow then, I did not see anything new other than the controversy by Wright. Other than that, I can't find anything new on how this theory is progressing. I suppose research is a long process and requires a lot of observations, calculations, and re-calculation. I am wondering if other astrophysicists repeated the findings or they are with Wright and found serious problems. But, I guess time is the essences and I have to be patient to see what the results will finally will be for this theory.

mmaayeh
2010-Jan-02, 04:17 PM
Hello MMaayeh , Welcome to the board and Happy New year (if you care for our calendar).

I cannot answer to your question but want to thank you for remember me of it and of the excellent link imbedded in the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunyaev-Zel%27dovich_effect.

Galacsi

Thank you galacsi, and a Happy New Year to you, yes the calendar means something to me and I had my own new year celebration last night with champaign and all that.

I guess I was trying to find out what the progress on the acceptance or rejection of the dark flow theory but, as Cougar pointed out that science in this theory needs to take it's time and no specific verdict is in except a point on Wright with pointing out errors in calculations. So, I guess I have to wait until there is more determined results on how this will go either way. I was hoping someone in this forum had a better understanding than I if there was any new results.

DrRocket
2010-Jan-04, 12:44 AM
I have read about a subject about Dark Flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_flow) once and I am not sure if this has been validated or peer reviewed by the scientific community or what is the overall verdict of this theory. So, did anyone hear anything new about this and is there any further information on this subject? Or, is it a flawed theory and is going the way of the dinosaurs already?

One ought to be cautioned with regard to iimportant terminilogy. Dark flow is not a theory. It is an observation, and a controversial one at that.

A theory, particularly in physics, is a body of knowledge supported by experimental evidence that posesses predictive and explanatory power. Thus quantum mechanics and general relativity are theories. So is evolution, though not as quantitatively predictive as would be ideal. The photoelectric effect is not. Neither is cold fusion. And neither is the existence of the dinosaurs.

What remains to be seen is whether dark flow is a real phenomenon or, like cold fusion, just bad technique and misinterpretation of the data. That will take more observations and more analysis to repeat the observation and conclusion if there is anything to it. Or else Ned Wright has found a fatal flaw.

A peer-reviewed article in science is not necessarily an indication that conclusions in a paper are correct. It is an indication that the work is to be taken seriously and not dismissed out of hand, i.e. that there is food for thought among serious professionals. Cold fusion papers, not all correct, have been published in peer-reviewed journals. In contrast, in mathematics publication in a peer-reviewed journal is an indication that the work has been reviewed and the proofs being published are probably correct, and the more important the result the greater the scrutinity it has received by experts.