Dark matter in fiction

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Dark matter is defined as hypothetical matter that is undetectable by its emitted radiation, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. It has been used in a variety of fictional media, including computer and video games and books.[1][2] In such cases, dark matter is usually attributed extraordinary physical or magical properties. Such descriptions are often inconsistent with the known properties of dark matter proposed in physics and cosmology. For example in computer games, it is often used as material for making weapons and items, and is usually depicted as black or a similar color.

Dark matter regularly appears as a topic in hybrid periodicals that cover both factual scientific topics and science fiction,[3] and dark matter itself has been referred to as "the stuff of science fiction".[4] A review of The Physics of Star Trek discusses dark matter before noting that "the best modern science fiction borrows heavily from cosmology".[5] In literary discussion dark matter has been used metaphorically to discuss Black science fiction.[6]

In computer and video games[edit]

  • In several games produced by Square, including Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy X, dark matter exists as a powerful magical element, enabling certain kinds of major attacks.
  • In Quake 4, the most powerful weapon is called the Dark Matter Gun.
  • In many of the Kirby videogames, Dark Matter is an evil entity from space that possesses characters, such as King Dedede, to do its bidding.
  • In the video game, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Samus Aran's "Dark Beam" fires blasts of Dark Matter. The beam consists of a cloudy purple aura which (when fully charged) has the capacity to immobilize certain hostile entities in dark matter.[citation needed]
  • In Shining Soul II and Golden Sun: The Lost Age, dark matter is used in forging very powerful but cursed equipment.[citation needed]
  • In Universe at War: Earth Assault, the Masari use Dark Matter as a weapon. Dark Matter is also used as shielding for the Masari in the form of Dark Matter armour.
  • In Half-Life 2, a science fiction shooter developed by Valve, the alien Combine empire use dark matter in various forms of weaponry.
  • In the game Super Mario Galaxy, there is dark matter in Bowser's Dark Matter Plant. It is portrayed as a purple-black fluid that disintegrates Mario upon contact, killing him instantly.
  • In the Nintendo DS game, Draglade, Dark Matter is a substance that can control living being's minds.
  • In Turok: Evolution, there are Dark Matter Cubes that can be used as weapons. In one form, they disintegrate whatever touches the explosion. In its second form, it sucks everything in its radius in.[citation needed]
  • In the Dark•Matter campaign setting for Alternity and d20 Modern dark matter influences the power and frequency of paranormal phenomena and psionic abilities in humans.
  • In the game LittleBigPlanet, dark matter is used as a material for making things float and can be used as an anchor to hang things off of.
  • In the game series Mass Effect, dark matter and subsequently dark energy is manifested in the form of "Element Zero" and used for Faster than Light travel and seemingly instantaneous transportation across light years.
  • In League of Legends, the character Veigar has an ability called Dark Matter, which summons a dark meteor/orb of matter to fall from the sky.
  • In Hybrid, players join one of two factions, the Paladins and the Variants, in a large global conflict over control of dark matter as an energy source.
  • In the MMO Ogame, dark matter is the in-game currency, being purchased with real-world money and used to buy in-game services.

In film and television[edit]

  • In the popular comedy cartoon series Futurama, dark matter is a black substance used as fuel in the show's starships. In the episode "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", the liquid form of dark matter can cause an increase of reproductive rate of penguins and even causes males to lay eggs. After the events of the film Futurama: Bender's Game dark matter is rendered completely useless, but before that, it is revealed that dark matter has reality-warping properties. Nibbler and his fellow Nibblonians defecate dark matter.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "In Theory," the Enterprise encounters a dark matter nebula. The dark matter temporarily disrupts the matter or energy fields with which it comes in contact.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Rocks and Shoals," Sisko and his crew attempt to hide from Jem'Hadar in a dark-matter nebula, but crash land their stolen Dominion ship into a planet before they reach the nebula.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "One Small Step," the crew encounter a Dark Matter asteroid while observing a gravimetric spatial anomaly.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Good Shepherd," Janeway and an away team encounter a type of dark matter lifeform.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "First Flight," two members of the crew go looking for a dark matter nebula in a shuttlepod.
  • In the animated television series Exosquad, dark matter was a material found naturally on the planet Chaos. The Pirate Clans and the Exofleet used it to cloak their spaceships; however, continued exposure causes humans to become violent and short tempered.
  • A 1995 episode of The Outer Limits, "Dark Matters," revolves around the problems caused by a planetoid-sized chunk of dark matter.
  • In the Earth: Final Conflict episode "Dark Matter," the substance collides with the energy-based Taelon Mothership, paralyzing the ship and all the Taelons aboard in a slow-motion freeze frame mimicking stasis.[citation needed]
  • In a 1995 episode of The X-Files, "Soft Light," Dr. Chester Ray Banton is exposed to dark matter. This causes his shadow to break down every molecule of whatever comes in contact with it, converting it into a black and blue puddle of pure energy.
  • In the episode 'Twenty Vicodin' of the television series 'House M.D,' the titular character describes dark matter as the 'ultimate mystery,' and explains that his alternative to a career in medicine would have been the research of this hypothetical phenomenon in Physics.

In literature[edit]

  • Dark matter plays a central role in the His Dark Materials trilogy by the British author Philip Pullman, introduced by the name of Dust. Dust, in the trilogy, is a form of consciousness that keeps multiple worlds linked together and, effectively, alive. It also the source of precognition, particularly when using an alethiometer (truth device). It is the matter of which angels are made.
  • Dark Matter is the title of a science fiction novel by Garfield Reeves-Stevens involving mystery, horror, and physics.
  • Dark Matters is a three-part Star Trek novel by Christie Golden, with a plot involving "corrupted" dark matter threatening the entire universe.
  • In Stephen Baxter's "Ring", dark matter causes the sun to leave the main sequence (becoming a red giant) within only a few million years.
  • In Ghost Legion, the fourth and last book from the Star of the Guardians series, Margaret Weis describes life forms made of dark matter. Among other powers, these life forms can fly in space and alter gravity.
  • In the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, dark matter increases the expansion of the universe, effectively helping the Lone Power.[citation needed]
  • In the fourth book of Larry Niven's Ringworld series, Ringworld's Children, it is revealed that the Hyperdrive used in the Known Space stories actually allows ships to travel through a dark matter universe, and this dark matter tends to cluster around gravity wells, indirectly causing the gravity singularity problem with hyperdrive.
  • In D.J. MacHale's Pendragon series, it is revealed in book nine that dark matter is what makes up the flumes and created the universe.
  • Dark matter plays a side role in the Heechee series by Frederik Pohl. It is proposed that an alien race artificially created a large amount of dark matter in order to perpetuate the eventual collapse of the universe.[citation needed]
  • In A Light Novel By Kazuma Kamachi entitled To Aru Majutsu no Index, Kakine Teitoku an Esper who holds the Psychic/Esper ability known as Dark Matter which branded him Academy City's Number 2 Level 5 and sometimes "The One Who Has Touched The Territory of God". Dark Matter here was used to create things like shield for soldiers which was used during World War III and artificial insects like the white Rhinoceros beetle.

Other[edit]

  • The webcomic Schlock Mercenary involves several battles with dark matter entities, who have been plotting to destroy the Milky Way galaxy for several hundred thousand years, and whose stronghold is the Andromeda Galaxy.
  • In the Star*Drive campaign setting of the Alternity Role-playing game, the Dark Matter is said to slowly decay releasing energy and the mass reactor is the fictional power plant that harness this energy in a useful way.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stableford, Brian M. (2006). Science fact and science fiction. CRC Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-415-97460-7. 
  2. ^ Michio Kaku; Jennifer Trainer Thompson (1997). Beyond Einstein: superstrings and the quest for the final theory. Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-19-286196-2. "In addition to multidimensional spaces, science fiction writers sometimes spice up their novels with talk of "dark matter," a mysterious form of matter with properties unlike any found in the universe" 
  3. ^ Cramer, John G. (2003-07-01). "LSST-The Dark Matter Telescope". Analog Science Fiction and Fact 123 (7/8): 96. ISSN 1059-2113. Retrieved 2009-08-06.  (Registration required)
  4. ^ Ahern, James (2003-02-16). "Space Travel: Outdated Goal". The Record. p. O.02. Retrieved 2009-08-06.  (Registration required)
  5. ^ Silk, Joseph (1997-09-27). "Kirk and Scotty's Lie". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  6. ^ Thomas, Sheree R. (2001). Dark matter: a century of speculative fiction from the African diaspora. Warner Aspect. pp. x. ISBN 0-415-97460-7.