Our understanding of ordinary matter is remarkably accurate and complete, but it is based on principles that are very strange and unfamiliar. As I'll explain, we've come to understand matter to be a Music of the Void, in a remarkably literal sense. Just as we physicists finalized that wonderful understanding, towards the end of the twentieth century, astronomers gave us back our humility, by informing us that ordinary matter - what we, and chemists and biologists, and astronomers themselves, have been studying all these centuries constitutes only about 5% of the mass of the universe as a whole. I'll describe some of our promising attempts to rise to this challenge by improving, rather than merely complicating, our description of the world.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Astronomy and Astrophysics