Most of the Universe is Missing

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Ratings: 8.82/10 from 28 users.

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Most of the Universe is MissingA fantastic Horizon (one of my favorites) that looks into the research on Dark Matter (with a twist of comedy to it!)... We know what 4% of the Universe is made of. But what about the rest?

There was a time, not so long ago, when science seemed to understand how the universe worked. Everything – us, the Earth, the stars and even exotic-sounding supernova – was made of atoms which were all created at time-zero: the Big Bang. In between the atoms was nothing, a void: quite literally, 'space'.

But recently things have started to unravel. There is, it seems, a lot more to the universe than meets the eye. According to the best estimates, we only really know what about 4% of it is made of.

But if only 4% is made of atoms, what about the rest? The rest is made of mysterious entities about which very little is understood, with equally mysterious names: dark matter and dark energy.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Alan

    Yes the BBC does it again. Horizon is the wonderful science magazine that has been running on British TV for decades now. Check out 'Life Story' about the discvoery of DNA structure, and the 'Alan Turing Story' about the great mathematician. As a Brit, this wonderful stuff from the BBC fills me with pride. Keep 'em coming.

  • http://YouTube.com/DancingSpiderman DancingSpiderman

    @ 19:10 The scientits being interviewed declares that "Dark matter must be in another … non-atomic form… Something which has mass, but isn't made of atoms." In what form would this dark matter be, then?

    There is a 2hour long documentary of Lt. Col. Tom Bearden on Google Video called "Energie Gratis EFTV1" where, starting at about the 14 minute point, Bearden details what this Dark Matter consists of. NOW it becomes evident that there is plenty of mass everywhere with which to compensate for the "unseen" missing matter to explain away Vera Rubin's inconsistency with Andromeda Galaxy's Rotation Curve shown @ 11:30 .

    There are two Google Video documentaries which complement the info in this video:
    Energie Gratis EFTV1 and
    Energie Gratis EFTV2.
    Each doc is in excess of 2hours. Enjoy.

  • Amir Bengali

    very informative,interesting

  • http://www.instinctualism.org Philip Van Der Mude

    if we did not dream and took science as it is to be the only truth , then we would never have left the shores of Eurpoe to find an ALREADY discovered world but new to us dumb white humans .Great fun i hope we continue to grow and explore and and find things already known and not self destruct first .

    so to find something that makes up 96 percent of the stuff with whihc you are useing to detect the stuff , just sounds wierd . I think about detection of something that is outside of the stuff is what we commonly use as the detector of the stuff , so how can we use stuff dependant on the stuff we are trying to detect, to dectect the stuff the dectector itself is made of to the tune of 96% made up of the stuff it itself is trying to detect , i am confused

    any one out there able to enlighten me and my limited knowledge of detection .

  • Terry Horn

    Doesn't being born add to the relative weight of the planet etc, think about it. or do we stay in equalib from something else.

  • Terry Horn

    Does the Standard model help to build new instruments we can use?

  • http://YouTube.com/DancingSpiderman DancingSpiderman

    Terry Horn, being born does NOT add to the relative weight of the planet.

    Mass is pretty much conserved; it took metabolic energy to make you up to your present form, but since the sum total of that metabolic energy weighs so very little due to E=mc^2, the mass of the metabolic energy can be ignored when compared to the weight of the mass that is you. As you get heavier, the mass, from the things your mum or YOU ate to make you more massive, merely got distributed from the various food sources, and got redistributed onto you.

    I'm headed on down to the QuikTrip for some late-night donuts (no holes) and a Mickeys 40...later

  • Rob Jones

    Into what is the Universe expanding?

  • Rob Jones

    Not to rain on the cosmology parade, but, isn't there a part of the Universe that man cannot see, that is, he has nothing powerful enough to see that far, no detectors to detect that far, no sensors to sense that far?

    It's kinda like saying, I have a telescope and I can see the end of the Universe. No, you can just see the end of the strength of your telescope, sensor, detectors, etc.

    How does man know how big the Universe is with certainty? What if there's intelligent life on a plantet 100 to the 900 trillion trillioth power light years away? That my friend, is quite a long way away. Let me guess, if you were to go that far away, you'd be in the "stuff" that the Universe is expanding into.

    And if the Universe is expanding into this "stuff", why isn't that "stuff" considered part of the Universe?

  • Refa

    Is it just me, or did they forget about the massive black hole in the center of the galaxy?

    They said the computer simulated galaxies fall apart if you only put the stars in it that you can see.

    It looks to me like they calculated (or should I say estimated) the mass of the black holes. So the name "Dark Matter" might be correct, they just don't realize all Dark Matter is inside the Black Holes.

  • Daz

    "Professor Frink, Professor Frink, he'll make you laugh, he'll make you think..."

    It's sad that that popped in to my head as soon as they said that (Dr. Frenk) fellow's name.

  • Diego

    I like the guy who says "the astronomy I got I picked up on the streets". Cracks me up! :D

  • opinin

    @Rob Jones

    it is more complicated than that. hawkings book the universe in a nutshell atempts to describe it. I remeber many different theories describing how it looks like "over the edge". one says that our multydimensional space (11 or 13 dimension or whatever similar number) is folded in such a manner that you cannot actualy go over the edge, it is imposible. Yet you can still ask, but ok what if I get over... The problem is that our understanding is tied to our 3Dworld and picking up rotten apples, so our "common sense" can not actualy describe or comprehend what it is like. The popular layman literature has same parralels, but that is only how as far as we can get with normal words, and it is often missinterpreted by common layman that these parrales are the actuality. But mathematicaly it makes sense up to the degree, that you can not picture 4d space but matematicaly you just use matrix with 4x4 structure... or 20x20 structure for 20d space.

    so try reading hawking, michio kaku (not sure about spelling), and related books and you should get a nice picture. Maybe there are some more documents about this.

    did this help? :)

  • sociology rich

    @Rob jones
    Yes Rob it helped me. Having spent many hours watching this stuff it still busts my mind trying to undrstand it so any help i'll take. I'm a teacher from the uk and me and the students often watch this kind of thing in our general studies sessions. I'm no scientist but i love the ideas and just hope one of them get a taste for it.
    all the best
    Rich Miller

  • Jo McKay

    Thank you Vlatko for recommending this one. It's great. I just finished watching the new Horizon Doc (Maybe everything we know about the Universe is Wrong - or something like that) and while I had been starting to wrap my head around the 'theory/idea' of dark energy, had at least 'heard of dark energy (re: the satellite mapping of the Big Bang), when I was then introduced to Dark Flow, I thought "OK now I am going to explode ??? So this slightly older doc gets to what I was trying to comment last night - It 'sounds like' the Cosmology Standard Model is becoming the Bible of Cosmology - and hey, I don't want a Bible of cosmology, I want a book of science. OK, so, IT is invisible (so far) & we don't know WHAT it is, but we know it's something, so we'll call it dark matter (cuz it kinda acts like matter) and this other stuff, also invisible, and dark (but acts like energy) we'll call dark energy, and this movement which can not be explained re: how fast the Universe is expanding, well, since dark has become the favorite term we decided to give that a name as well, and vallah we have Dark flow, but really, honestly, we can't find IT (Yet) so we "could " be completely wrong. (Or completely out to lunch) lol. NOW write it up that way and I will give it the appropriate attention, but, hello, you can NOT find these 'dark forces' so how the bleep can we justify a measurement of how much of it invisible 'darks' there are out there? Please!

  • Jo McKay

    Correction - I was beginning to wrap my head around the 'idea' of Dark Matter ( a denser kind of gravity). Thanks

  • azilda

    May be dark matter is the stuff which is about to exist or to take form...for the human eye.
    Strange that the eye itself has a black hole matter in it's middle.
    Do we see or do we create what we are about to see in order to understand what we were seeing.
    az

  • MJ

    This will sound incredibly unscientific, but if I'm not mistaken, for anything to 'expand', technically speaking, there needs to be a space beyond it to expand in and fill out. So if there is a theoretical end to the universe and it is ending, what then is the space from without the universe?

  • cainer

    a galaxy surrounding a 'black hole' has its own atmosphere,.. its all in a big bubble if you will..
    the outer stars will spin at the same rate as the inner stars due to inward pressure from infinate 'space', theres no mystery here

  • Guest

    Jesus made the black holes to test our faith! lol

  • NeverStopTrying

    I think that's the essence of the beauty of quantum physics!!! A new way of looking at the world!!!

  • Christian Preston

    seems dangerous to invent something as huge as dark matter and dark energy to explain something which you believe must theoretically be true, though thats not to say that it hasnt been done before and subsequently validated. i've been enjoying watching some of the alternative theories of what is holding the universe together, and while i disagree with the electric cosmology idea that there is electric connections between all celestial bodies in the universe, it seems plausible that the 'cloud' described in this doc, and accredited to dark matter, could instead maybe be a huge electro-magnetic field created by whatever is in the center of the galaxy. it seems restricting to imagine that gravity is the only force working on the large scale. As the 'working mother' says in this doc, in the very small scale of atoms other forces have to be taken into account, why not also in the larger scale? finally, it seems tragically futile to attempt the measurement of something like dark matter with instruments made of atoms, when they are suggested to be intrinsically different.

  • Gunnar1961

    When they say that the universe's expansion is accelerating, based on the most distant parts of the universe moving faster than they ought to be, I can't help but wonder if cosmologists are sufficiently taking into account the fact that the doppler shift used to calculate their velocities reflect the velocities they had at the time the light from them left them on its way to our telescopes billions of years ago--not the actual velocities they have now. It is hard to imagine that such intelligent men would not try their best to take that into account, but could it be that there is an, as yet, undetected source of error in their observations that could throw off their calculations by some small but significant amount?

  • Achems_Razor

    Yes, they are way ahead of you, through maths the doppler shifts are used now as in real time. That has all been computed.

  • Achems_Razor

    "Dark energy contributes approx 73 percent of the critical density. When added to the 27 percent of criticality astronomers had already measured, this brings the total right up to 100 percent of the critical density, just the right amount or matter and energy for a universe with zero spatial curvature"

    "Current data thus favor an ever-expanding universe shaped like the three-dimensional version of the infinite tabletop or of the infinite video game-screen."

    (Brian Greene) "The Hidden Reality"

  • Gunnar1961

    Thanks for your response. I suspect that you are right, and there is little doubt in my mind that our current understanding of the Universe is closer to the truth than any previous views. What I am even more certain of, however, is that the Universe still has a lot more surprises in store for us. This is what makes the pursuit of science so exciting and so much more fulfilling than the sterility of religious dogma that claims absolute, ancient knowledge that cannot be improved upon, corrected or questioned.

  • http://twitter.com/tamzamy zeman tamy

    you think

  • http://profiles.google.com/nicoll.iain Iain Nicoll

    Mankind can see alot, but there is alot more he cannot see. He is aware of the 'observable' universe which is basically a sphere around us in which light has had time to travel to us from its sources given the commonly accepted age of the universe. This works out to about a 13.7 billion light year diameter sphere. But that is by no means the edge of the universe; it is simply how much of it we can say exists with certainty.

    And about your trillion trillionth power light years away society: perhaps if we were able to see them that far away, we would find that they had our backs to us, because we were looking at ourselves many years ago! There is a lot of physical and mathematical evidence to suggest that our universe is a finite one which loops back on itself, much like a 3 (or 11) dimensional version of pac man. Perhaps one of the distant galaxies we see in our telescopes is in fact an infant milky way!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Mars/1021563074 Justin Mars

    I have to agree with Prof. Disney. They are coming up with conclusions before they really know the truth. Its alot like the days when they said the earth was flat. Now we see how ridiculous that idea was. A hypothesis has to be proven before it can be theory. So to me it will always be a hypothesis until they prove otherwise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cchristiankg Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    There is a big tree just outside this house. G.W.B. will look as strange fruite hanging, and everybody giving a roud of aplause

  • Olga Gorev-Junior

    The physics that is valid in our universe might be different in the other universe. For example instead of e=m*l^2, it might be e=m*l^n/xxx, where n is not equal to 2 and xxx is something else... We cannot assume that our laws of physics are the same everywhere. I would rather believe in Vedic ancient books about cosmic development, they sound more consistent, seriously :-) Dark matter and dark energy seem just as ridiculous as a pink elephant analogy from the movie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arthur.boucher.12 Arthur Boucher

    what a crock.the only real evidence here suggests that gravitational physics is completely wrong. talk about a conspiracy theory.where is the science? string theories and dark matter are a joke! fictitious stories made up without proof or fact.in light of this mess i think the electric model of the universe is looking better all the time .at least their not making fairy tales up and calling it science

  • awful_truth

    You know, this is a good documentary in explaining the issues surrounding the 'standard model', as well as including scientific opponents to dark matter/dark energy.
    For myself, I will likely never accept the direction cosmology is heading for the following reasons.
    1) Just because you can predict something, does not mean you understand it. Ptolemy is a prime example since he could predict the past or future positions of planets 2000 years ago, but he was wrong since we now know the earth is not the center of the solar system, with the sun, and planets performing epicycles.
    2) Einstein who called his own attempt at a 'cosmological constant' the greatest blunder of his career. He was attempting to create a force in opposition to gravity 'to prevent' everything from coming together. Now, we have the opposite problem because everything is not flying apart, with scientists doing the exact same thing for the opposite reason.
    3) Dark matter/dark energy can never be observed or measured which is the hallmark of scientific basis. Without these pre-requisites, you have now entered the realm of philosophy/faith. (I believe but cannot prove)
    I am still convinced that the arbitrary decision to accept the idea of expansion over contraction is flawed. The fact that science measured the rate of this movement as accelerating implies contraction over expansion. (equivalence principle) Since we are part of the system, we cannot discern the difference between the two. (Einstein noted the universe must be expanding or contracting, just not static)
    Alan Guth's inflation theory contradicts itself by stating the initial inflation was moving faster than the speed of light. If everything is accelerating, than one can only conclude the universe already expanded to completion, and is now collapsing in on itself. (that is why it is accelerating)
    Last but not least, if space is collapsing in on itself, it would explain why objects of mass in the outer reaches of galaxies are not hurling themselves outward even though they are travelling as fast as the objects in the inner galaxy. Thus, there is no need to redefine gravitation (variable) or add extraneous variables like dark matter/energy to the standard model equations.
    Of course, I also accept the fact I could be completely wrong in all of this, ( I sure don't know everything) however my explanation better fits what we understand with certainty today. In the final analysis, theories that are elegant in their simplicity best fit the criteria of accuracy. (facts seldom hold, good theories seldom so!)
    In any case, check out the documentary. If you are interested in such things, I am quite sure you will find it enjoyable. Take care everyone!

  • gwhosubex

    1) Excellent, excellent point.
    2) What do you mean everything is not flying apart? I assume you meant it's not accelerating apart. But it is. His "greatest blunder" is actually correct. As Neil Tyson said, "Isn't it nice to be so smart, that you're right, even when you're wrong?" lol. =]
    3) Asserting it can never be measured, when we don't even understand its properties is faith. Never underestimate things that aren't able to be ruled out via logic or inconsistencies.

    "Alan Guth's inflation theory contradicts itself by stating the initial inflation was moving faster than the speed of light. If everything is accelerating, than one can only conclude the universe already expanded to completion, and is now collapsing in on itself. (that is why it is accelerating)"

    That's some pretty bad logic.

  • gwhosubex

    This documentary is SLOWWWW, superficial, and boring.

  • awful_truth

    Actually, not. Draw it out on a piece of paper. If everything is collapsing in on itself, (galaxy A and galaxy B are shrinking relative to each other) the galaxies would still appear to be moving apart. (Expansion is supposed to be occurring everywhere in a 4 dimensional manifold) Since we are part of the system, we cannot discern the difference. (we would have to be outside the universe to observe it)
    As far as Alan Guth's theory, if the universe was expanding faster than the speed of light, it should be slowing do to gravitational attraction. (not accelerating) That is why Einstein tried to create a 'cosmological constant' to prevent everything from coming together. (a force that opposed gravitation) Dark matter, and dark energy are the modern day equivalent of Einstein constant, in the other direction.
    Of course, having an idea or theory that flies in the face of accepted dogma, is far more difficult to accept when we have been told otherwise. In any case, consider what I have said. If you choose to believe otherwise, it is alright. (everything is relative) I am just reminding those who have accepted an arbitrary choice of what Einstein specified. (one or the other, with no way of discerning which is correct) He may have been wrong in regards to quantum mechanics, (the very small) but relativity still stands to this day as the hallmark of the very large. Take care, and best wishes gwhosubex!

  • NikolaTesla

    wow i had this same thought! also if their is a multi verse it would be dangerous and foolish for an explorer to travel to another universe without knowing its physics.

    imagine just to be there in the flesh you might need a device to "house" you in our physics.