Webs of Darkness and Ancient Cities

No, this post is not about a new fantasy novel. It’s about physics and archeology.

If you follow physics at all, you’ve probably heard of dark matter. It’s stuff that has mass (hence the “matter”) but physicists can’t see it because it doesn’t emit electromagnetic radiation like stars do (hence the “dark”). Dark matter is detected by its gravitational effects. Most of the matter in the universe seems to be dark matter, and apparently physicists at Johns Hopkins University may now know how it’s organized. (Okay, they actually announced this in early December.) It turns out that dark matter forms a sort of “cosmic web.” At the nodes the web, the mass of the dark matter becomes great enough that it can pull light matter towards it.

As for ancient cities, it turns out that the computer game Luxor is named after a real Egyptian city. An archeology professor at Johns Hopkins has set up a website where you can see photographs of her dig at the site.

This post refers to:

Johns Hopkins University Office of News and Information JHU-STScI Team Maps Dark Matter in Startling Detail. December 9, 2005.

Bryan, Betsy and VanRensselaer, Jay. Hopkins in Egypt Today. Johns Hopkins University. January 2006.

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