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Dark Matter

Dark Matter Dark Matter
Dark Matter is carved from a black marble. The stone is particularly hard, and at the time I carved it, I wanted to keep it a simple piece. Of course, the raw stone itself is very striking too, and that helped me arrive at the composition.

I'd read an article in Science News suggesting that there might be entire galaxies composed of dark matter in the universe. The idea captivated me, and as I looked at the stone, with it's natural white crystals embedded in the otherwise black material, I realized I needed to carve something inspired by the concept. The rest, as they say, is history.

For the curious, the general idea behind dark matter, as I understand it anyway, comes from studies of galaxies. Astronomers make estimates of the mass in galaxies and measure the speed at which they rotate. The math apparently shows that there isn't enough mass present in most galaxies to hold the stars together given the normal formulation of gravity. Since the theory of gravity is pretty well established (have you ever seen anything fall up?) one possible explanation is that there is matter in galaxies that interacts via gravity, but that we otherwise cannot detect. It doesn't emit or reflect light for example, and therefore it's "dark". Thus "dark matter".

I won't go into details about proposed kinds of dark matter, but there are at least two types with interesting names: MACHOs (MAssive Compact Halo Objects) and WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). There are probably other theoretical kinds of dark matter as well, but those are the ones I've read the most about. The article mentioned above suggested galaxies composed only of dark matter might explain certain features of the visible universe. The idea of an entire galaxy of dark matter got stuck in my head, and this piece was the result.

It may seem odd that such an abstract idea could inspire a sculpture months after I read it, but it did.

Dimensions: 20 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 6 inches deep.


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