The uncertainty of science: An underground experiment in Italy has failed to detect dark matter, as theorized by scientists.
In a paper published online last night, the XENON100 researchers report three events detected during a 100-day run of the experiment last year that might have been due to dark matter1. However, as they expected to see between 1.2 and 2.4 background events — interactions mostly caused by a radioactive contaminant in the xenon — their result is statistically negative and therefore rules out the existence of many of the more strongly interacting and heavier WIMPs.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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