From gravitational experiments, the Milky Way Galaxy is known to contain upwards of 90material. The nature of this "Dark Matter" remains basically unknown, with the proposed candidates covering 70 orders of magnitude in mass - from axions to supermassive black holes. The various Galactic microlensing experiments seem to be suggesting that an important fraction of this "Dark Matter" is tied up in compact objects whose mass is near half that of the Sun. This is a natural mass for white dwarf stars, the burnt out cores of intermediate mass stars that have completed their nuclear evolution. I describe the search for these ancient white dwarfs, and the successes and difficulties encountered along the way.
APS Northwest Section Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- May 2000