Dark Matter: Rethinking the Universe with Vera Rubin
What is dark matter? If it exists, then it is the most abundant matter in the universe. This would make its discovery one of the greatest in the history of science.
One of the leading figures who first evidenced its existence was the astronomer Vera Rubin. Rubin isn’t as well-known as Sir Isaac Newton, but she should be. After all, Rubin’s study of the rotation of galaxies transformed our understanding of the universe and forced astronomers to fundamentally rethink everything they thought they knew.
Rubin discovered that objects at the edge of the Milky Way were moving at the same speed as others nearer its centre – much faster than Newton’s maths around our solar system said they should.
But what was affecting these objects at the edge of galaxies, and why – like a pawn gaining the powers of a queen in chess – did it change the game entirely?
That’s where dark matter comes in…