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Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Universe

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Richard Panek explains how we know that only 4 percent of the universe consists of the matter that makes up people, planets, stars, and galaxy. The other 96 percent of the universe is completely unknown. The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality tells the story of how scientists reached this conclusion, and what they’re doing to find dark matter, dark energy, and to help paint a complete picture of the universe.

Guests:

Richard Panek
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Comments [7]

Lance from NYC

It's a terrific read. Good storytelling.

Jan. 19 2011 12:47 PM
Mike from Atlanta, Ga.

From Stephen Hawkin

Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing," he writes. "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

Jan. 19 2011 12:25 PM
Andrew Skroback from NYC

Isn't our not being able to sense dark matter akin to fish swimming in the ocean. Fish don't see the water or sense it as something to differentiate - it's just like space to us, no?

Jan. 19 2011 12:24 PM

How does this supposed theoretical mystery this differ from the kind of "religious" "reasoning"
that author Samuel Stein warns against?

Jan. 19 2011 12:20 PM
Jon from West Harlem

I think many of your listeners are wondering when you're going to ask your guest whether Dark Matter and Dark Energy are really just God.

Jan. 19 2011 12:19 PM
marco from NYC

Fascinating stuff......a lot more interesting than the Rivers family.

Jan. 19 2011 12:15 PM
Tony Bruguier from Santa Clara, CA

How do we know this "dark mater" stuff is not just a cope-out like phlogiston or aether?

I am not saying that dark matter/energy is BS, I just do not understand it.

Could you explain why we resort to this explanation, as opposed to others (like modifying gravity's laws, or other approaches)?

Jan. 18 2011 05:34 PM

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