a MOND project

by pamela

Hello. During my final semester at Rutgers University, I undertook a project about Modified Newtonian Dynamics- MOND, an alternative approach to the hidden matter hypothesis. I worked with Professor Arthur Kosowsky, a cosmologist in the physics and astronomy department. Even though MOND is rife with all those happy things like Poissons and Lagrangians, I will also address the Physicist's sense of the aesthetic, and how it has influenced the theories, discoveries, and the overall development of physics throughout history, and how we approach the science today.

04 September 2002

It's recently come to my attention that this site is still read and even linked despite the fact that I haven't even thought about it in over a year. I suppose it's due to the recent SciAm cover story on MOND by Milgrom himself. It's also quite alarming that this page is the #1 hit on a Google search for "modified newtonian dynamics." So even though I'm a linguistics student now, I'm compelled to put this up. Are all undergraduate papers embarrassing in hindsight?

10 May 2001

If you haven't seen it yet, please look at my Reading List, which just gets better and better. Soon I will begin posting commentary on other physics-related texts and articles for fun. After graduation, which is 17 May for me, I will post my paper in both Word and Portable Document File format for your Windows and anti-Windows viewing pleasure. I would like to see it published somewhere, but much of the physics will be yoinked out of it.

In other news, I am returning to work on my MAP project at the Hayden Planetarium. The probe as well as my presentation are set to launch at the end of June 2001. The NASA site is pretty informative, but retains all the qualities of a design nightmare for which NASA is so well-known. I would put a link to the NYT article, but the fellas in subscription services woke up to the smell of fresh-brewed internet and realized they could charge $2.50 per "premium" electronic article. Abstracts are still free, as well as trade, apparently.

03 May 2001

The long-awaited Works Cited of my paper - it's not as comprehensive as McGaugh's litany of references, but includes links to more introductory texts in astrophysics.

Last week I turned in my final draft (at least I hope it's the last) of my paper. Whew . . .

Other projects . . .
By the way, I also work at the Hayden Planetarium, adjacent to the American Museum of Natural History located in the rough-and-tough streets of NYC's Upper West Side. Currently I'm putting together a presentation about the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), a progeny of the famous COBE satellite. The results of the MAP mission might have decisive evidence for or against the existence of Dark Matter in the universe.

12 April 2001

My senior project is done; it has been an extraordinarily frustrating and rewarding experience. Now that I have a better handle on things, I'm confident enough to talk about MOND at cocktail parties and pre-colloquia teas.

First of all, let me correct myself and the greater physics community and emphasize that MOND is not a theory; it is a description of a specific observational phenomenon. MOND is a good fit to the behaviour of galaxies as deduced from their velocity curves.

Secondly, there's been a lot of hoopla over the notion of Dark Energy lately. It's only one data point, kids, keep your pants on.

As promised, here is my update of pretentious commentary. Substantial content is yet to come.

13 February 2001

For the time being, please take a look at a few MOND on-line resources.

Mordehai Milgrom proposed the idea of modified dynamics as a solution to the hidden matter problem- all the way back in 1983. Go Moti!

The MOND Pages by Stacy McGaugh, the source for all your MOND needs. Humorous and informative, if somewhat fanatic.

Dark Matter or Different Gravity? From the people who brought you Dr. Darkmatter. Greg Bothum compares and contrasts the virtues and failings of the Dark Matter hypothesis versus Modified Dynamics. Any literature on either theory tends to be biased and unfair. Bothum presents the evidence objectively, though a bit annoyingly.

My Best Friend, better known as the Astrophysics Data System. It's a server for abstracts of astrophysics articles from various professional publications. Many full articles from major journals are also available, but you have to know what you want.

Somewhat related links:

Arthur Kosowsky, my research advisor, is the coolest! He likes to think about the cosmic microwave background radiation, listens to jazz drums, and is always fashionably late for colloquia. He also uses Linux. Rock!

Terry Matilsky is another astrophysicist at Rutgers University. I took his "Principles of Astrophysics" class back in my sophomore year, and was inspired to pursue physics and astronomy. He has great hair.

An incredibly fine man. Richard Feynman is definitely my favorite. Favorite what? Well . . .anything.


Soon to come:

1. My reading list
2. Notes on the actual physics of MOND
3. Pretentious commentary

I know you can't wait!