Rolf Heuer, head of Cern, the world’s biggest physics lab, has declared his next research target after triumphantly achieving the first objective: finding the Higgs particle. “We have now completed the Standard Model,” he says. “It is high time for us to go on to the dark universe.”His words will resonate with an army of scientists currently working on experiments in space, on Earth and in labs deep underground to create what they call “new physics”. Their hunt will go far beyond the Standard Model, which has been built up over the past 50 years to provide an internally consistent but incomplete description of the fabric of reality.
The dark universe is a double problem for new physics. Scientists do not know what makes up the “dark matter” that dominates all the ordinary stuff known to astronomers in galaxies, stars, planets, dust, quasars, black holes and so on. And “dark energy”, a repulsive antigravity force driving the universe apart at an accelerating pace, is even more mysterious.--
Here is a list of the main unknowns:
An unknown property of empty space which contributes 68 per cent of the mass-energy of the universe and counteracts gravity to drive cosmic expansion.
Particles that do not interact with ordinary matter and make up 27 per cent of the universe – identity unknown.
Matter made from the oppositely charged versions of familiar subatomic particles – positrons and antiprotons instead of electrons and protons.
The unproven idea that our universe is just one of a potentially infinite collection of universes – probably with different laws of physics.
Well, good luck to all of you who are members of the army of scientists. It may take a while before all the mysteries are solved.
Global warming alarmists will of course demand that dark energy is green and renewable. If not, then it is a case for the IPCC ...