February 16, 2003

Does Matter Matter?

The more we know, the less we understand. New pictures of the young Universe bring answers. AGE: 13.7 billion years. GROWTH: Indeterminate. Big Bang supported, Oscillating Universe idea, refuted. CONSISTS OF: Well, we don't really know. Mostly, dark matter and dark energy, they call it. How embarassing. Basically, this is science's way of saying 'some other stuff'. Here's the conclusion, in a nutshell:

The data also have enabled scientists to produce the most exact calculation ever of what the cosmos is made of today. It turns out that only 4 percent of the universe is made up of atoms with known forces such as electromagnetism and gravity, the ordinary stuff that makes people, potatoes, porcelain and everything else that humans know. Twenty-three percent of the universe is made from mysterious unseen material dubbed "dark matter" because scientists know so little about it. The remainder -- 73 percent -- is made up of yet another poorly understood force called "dark energy."

Posted by fred1st at February 16, 2003 05:50 AM | TrackBack

When I contemplate these observations, Fred, the overwhelming question that comes to mind is: Why is there Something, instead of Nothing? Why is there matter at all, dark or otherwise?

I'm glad we have guys like Robert Jastrow who are willing to give these questions some thought. I wish there were more like him.

Posted by: Curt at February 17, 2003 12:38 AM

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