Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The 4% Universe

I just finished reading this new non-fiction book by Rickard Panek with the alternative title, “Dark matter, dark energy and the race to discover the rest of reality”. Pretty big title and the mystery still is what the rest of reality is. But he did cover the race to discover it between a group of physicists and astronomers which in the process birthed the science of cosmology. Read the epilogue first. In there on page 242 Panek says, “In early 2010 . . . the results arrived bearing the latest refinements of the numbers that define our universe. It was 13.75 billion years old . . . . it was flat, consisting of 72.8 percent dark energy, 22.7 percent dark mater, and 4.56 percent baryonic matter (the stuff of us) – an exquisitely precise accounting of the depth of our ignorance. The astronomers who set out to write the final chapter in the history of the universe had to content themselves instead with a more modest conclusion: to be continued.” Isn't it amazing? We don't know what dark energy and dark matter is and this composes most of the our universe. Of course, we now have to think about parallel universes and multiverses. Brian Greene's new book The Hidden Reality covers some of this and I'm reading it now. More later. Just something to get your day going.

1 comment:

  1. Boggles the mind. Gotta read this one. Thanks, Margie