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Jeremy Leslie-Friedman

Dark Matter and Dark Energy and Oprah

By: Jeremy Leslie-Friedman
College Now Course - SCI 1

Oprah: Good afternoon, thanks for tuning in. I'm Oprah and we have some very special guests on our show today. Please welcome Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Hmm, I don't see them. I guess they're late.

Dark Matter: No, we're here, Oprah. I'm Dark Matter, and Dark Energy is here as well. We just can't be observed directly, that's all.

Oprah: Oh, I see. Well, I don't actually, but...why don't you have a seat? That is, if you aren't seated already.

Dark Matter: Thanks, Oprah, it's good to be here.

Oprah: Dark Energy?

Dark Energy: Uh, hi.

Dark Matter: He's not much of a talker. That's why we know so little about him.

Oprah: A mystery man, eh? Well, Dark Matter, why don't you start by telling me a little bit about yourself?

Dark Matter: Well, as you can see (or not, rather), I can't be directly observed. Naturally, if I can't be observed, my composition is unknown as well.

Oprah: OK, well how about you, Dark Energy? What are you made of?

Dark Energy: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

(Two of Oprah's bodyguards jump onto the spot where they imagine Dark Energy to be. They are thrown backwards into the air.)

Oprah: Oh, my goodness!

Dark Matter: Don't worry, that's just Dark Energy's nature. He's a strong repulsive force...stronger than gravity, in fact.

Oprah: Wow, that's pretty impressive. Now anyway, Dark Matter, how were you discovered?

Dark Matter: Well, I suppose I should admit that I'm hypothetical, and that my presence was inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter by Fritz Zwicky. I should also mention that evidence suggests that the universe as a whole contains far more matter than can be seen. As I make up the remainder of the matter, I play a central role in structure formation of galaxies.

Oprah: That's certainly shocking! Who would've guessed? Next thing you know, we'll be hearing about life on other planets!

Dark Matter: Well, they did find fleas on Pluto.

Oprah: Yes, but we don't consider Pluto a planet, now do we?

Dark Energy: The implications of this accelerating, expanding universe are enormous. It could eventually become a vast, cold, dead place.

Dark Matter: Talk about putting a damper on things. Thanks goodness I'm the cheerful one. I account for the vast majority of mass in the observable universe.

Dark Energy: Yes, but I account for almost three-quarters of the total mass-energy of the universe as well.

Oprah: Hey, would you believe it, we're out of time. Dark Matter, Dark Energy, it was lovely having you here. Have a safe trip back into space, don't have too much gum or you'll get stuck in Orbit?

Dark Matter: Bye, Oprah!

Dark Energy: I'll see you in a few billion years, when I've finished ripping the universe apart, and you're reduced to various molecules spread light years apart.

Oprah: Oh, I almost forgot, before the guests all leave...EVERYBODY GETS A QUARK!