「見えない星」を追え!―今世紀最大の宇宙の謎“ミラーマター”の秘密に迫る 単行本 – 2003/10/2
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銀河系は円盤ではなく球形!? 「隕石」大衝突の跡はあるのに破片すら見つからない!? シンプルかつエレガントな宇宙論をやさしくひもとく。
では、ミラーマターとは何か？ いま知られている「反物質」とはどう違うのか？ それは、これまで存在が確認されているどの物質とも異なる性質を示すという。なにしろ、ミラー物質は通常の光を発したり反射したりしない。だから見ることはできない。しかし、見ることができなくとも、その存在を仮定しないと解明できない事実がこの世にはあるのだ。木星級の巨大惑星が中心星のすぐ近くを、公転周期4日程度という恐ろしいスピードで周回しているという太陽系外惑星が見つかっているが、その謎解きにも挑む。
The best kind of scientific theory, wrote Sir Karl Popper, the Oxford philosopher of science, is one which is easily in principle falsifiable, because even if one's hypothesis turns out to be wrong, one will find new unanticipated facts about nature. I believe,after sampling the work that I am now reviewing, that Robert Foot's theory of mirror matter fits testing in the best Popperian tradition of experimental science.
Near the beginning of this work, Professor Foot talks about the essential role that the concept of symmetry plays in predicting the possible nature of different physical phenomena. The only symmetry that does not seem to work in the discipline of physics at present is mirror reflection symmetry, a problem that showed up in the late fifties when three American physicists overthrew the "law of parity," by experiments with colbolt atoms. The ordinary matter that makes up our world and our bodies appears to be "left-handed." Foot has proposed that mirror reflection symmetry could be restored for the universe if we postulate that in addition to the ordinary matter that we are all familiar with, there is mirror matter which is in every respect like our own except that mirror matter and mirror photons only usually interact with our world of ordinary matter by means of the gravitational field and not by the electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear forces. A mirror object would pass right through our hands, and Foot has suggested that the so-called dark matter that is supposed to make up about ninety-six percent of our universe may be the mirror matter.
Robert Foot wants to emphasise that mirror matter is still an unproven hypothesis yet, but he gives up to seven reasonswhy it is the best candidate to explain some of the anomalies that particle physicists and astrophysicists have discovered in the last thirty years. One is the problem of the missing atmospheric neutrinos, another is the problem of the hot Jupiter like planets that orbit close in to their primaries, and the phenomenon of isolated planets that seem to be wandering through interstellar space. Professor Foot even suggests that the Tunguska impact on Siberia in 1908 was the result of a collision with the Earth by a mirror matter object. He reviews the evidence and suggests how we might prove this conjecture one way or the other.
Robert Foot explains in his book that observations and experiments to test his theory are relatively inexpensive compared with many physics experiments in elementary particle physics--for example, searching for the Higgs Boson using the multi-billion dollar Hadron Super Collider in Switzerland and France. He suggests where we should look remainsf mirror matter on Earth, and how we could carry out experiments with neutrinos both on our planet, and observing neutrinos coming from a mirror supernova where a star does not seem to exist. Foot goes on to say that the hypothesis of mirror matter could be decided within five years if the funding is forthcoming.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone going into a career in physics who is looking for an area of research, and who may want see resultsin his or her lifetime. I would also recommend to all book stores and libraries that they should carry this work as it may be the seed of a new revolution in our understanding of the Cosmos.
The book also explains dark matter, the discovery of new planets, isolated planets, supernova's, white dwarfs, gamma ray bursts,
neutrinos and even the Tunguska event. These topics are explained in a lively and entertaining way that even a novice like myself is able to understand! I was a little disappointed that there was not much discussin about black holes.
The book explains how these puzzles can easily be explained by the mirror matter theory. Along the way the book contains interesting historical info and is full of witty remarks. The book emphasises the distinction between the 'traditional' scientific approach whereby ideas are developed and compared with observations and experiments and the more recent 'popularist' approach embodied in superstring theory which seem to have no experimental support at all, but survive because of their popularity.
The book should be of interest to students, scientists and lay people, perhaps anyone interested in recent developments in science.
let me simply quote from it. On page 148 (in the chapter
about the mirror matter interpretation of the Tunguska
event) it states:
"The mirror body may have some embedded amount of
ordinary matter, so a tiny amount of ordinary
extraterrestrial material is possible."
Thus, the discovery of a small amount of
extraterrestrial ordinary matter -- if correct --
does not disprove the mirror matter hypothesis
for the Tunguska event (perhaps the book description
needs a slight re-wording). Let me just add, that
the Tunguska event is only a small part of the evidence
for mirror matter, and comprises only about 10 percent
of the book. Nevertheless, it is perhaps the
most interesting because it suggests the
possibility that mirror matter could be extracted
from the ground at the Tunguska site.