Cosmology in the 1980s: The Dark Matter Flowchart

Last week, I wrote about Jim Peebles of Princeton receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics for his body of work in cosmology. However, there’s another cosmology-related essay I’ve been wanting to write for a long time.

The Dark Matter Flowchart is a humorous flowchart (think like an XKCD comic) created by three Princeton grad students and one researcher circa 1986. It described the state of the field of cosmology at the time in hilarious fashion, and a depressingly large amount of it is still relevant today.

I first saw the Flowchart on the wall of the grad student lounge at Princeton, and I’ve been wanting to update it or at least annotate it ever since. I finally took the time to draw up a more legible version and explain all of the references contained within.

Special thanks to Dr. David Weinberg and Dr. Barbara Ryden for answering my questions about the Flowchart. My new version is below, and you can read my essay annotating it here.

Click to enlarge.

About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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