Physicist Patricia Burchat sheds light on two basic ingredients of our universe: dark matter and dark energy. Comprising 96% of the universe between them, they can't be directly measured, but their influence is immense.
Midway through her talk, Burchat offers three types of evidence for dark matter [8:57]. Create an infographic that lays out these types of evidence in a clear, concise way. When you think about how and why theories become accepted in science, do you think it’s the quantity of evidence, the quality of the evidence (that is, some types of evidence are more convincing than others), or both?
In her talk, Burchat mentions the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland. The LHC and other exploratory science projects (Mars rovers, for example) often get criticized and targeted for budget cuts when the economy is bad. How do you think the supporters and detractors of exploratory science programs would defend their positions? Imagine that the U.S. government is going to cut funding for exploratory science programs. Draft two letters to the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. One letter should support the move and one should oppose it.
NASA Science Astrophysics: Dark Energy, Dark Matter http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/
National Geographic: Dark matter blob should not exist, but there it is (03/06/12) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120306-dark-matter-galaxies-mystery-space-science/
PBS NOVA scienceNOW: Dark Matter http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/dark-matter.html
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope http://www.lsst.org/lsst/