On Science and sexism: Extracts from the speech of Michio Kaku

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For those of you who don’t know Michio Kaku, he is an American Theoretical Astrophysicist who has worked extensively on the string theory(A possible theory to unify the four fundamental forces)

The theories with regards to dark matter and dark energy elude us to this day. Now one may ask, why bother? why is it even necessary to know or understand it?. Well, it is because if we consider the total components in the universe, 23% is the dark matter, 73% is dark energy and the remaining baryonic matter(visible matter) is less than 4%.

So it can be deemed necessary to study something that constitutes a majority portion of our universe. There are two popular theories about the dark matter. Of one is the string theory which states that the dark matter might be the higher vibration in the string and everything around us that is visible is the lower vibration of the string. So it is also hypothesized that the dark matter can be created using the Large Hadron Collider(LHC) which could be a means to prove or disprove this theory.

Another theory suggests the existence of a parallel universe which co-exists with ours and lies alongside ours. According to this theory, the light will travel parallel to it and the gravity seeps between in between that is why it is assumed we can feel the gravitational effects, which is also a good explanation for the dark matter as something that cannot be seen and has gravitational effects.

The Dark matter was first hypothesized by a woman in the 1960’s – Vera Ruben, whose study suggested that the milky way galaxy rotates so fast that the Newtonian mechanics aren’t supposed to hold good and the galaxy is supposed to fly apart. But it was deemed preposterous as to how such a thing could be possible. But later she came up with a theory stating that maybe there is a field holding it together. She was ignored then, not anymore.

Another popular case would be of Joselyn Bell. It started when she saw something blinking at her through her telescope. She spent weeks studying it and charting its behavior. She had discovered the neutron star and this turned out to be a very significant discovery in the field of Astrophysics. But since she was just a research student, the Nobel prize was given to her supervisor.

So what do we learn from all this?


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