Without the extra heft of dark matter, you wouldn’t be here.
...When you look up at all the stars and planets in the night sky, or you admire the thousands of distant galaxies in the Hubble Space Telescope’s deep images, what strikes you is the sheer quantity of stuff in our universe. But all the glowing stars and gas clouds in all the galaxies represent only about 0.5 percent of it. The rest is invisible.
Another 4.5 percent is ordinary matter, mostly hydrogen and helium, between the visible galaxies, which is effectively invisible because it is too diffuse to emit much light.
About 27 percent is mysterious dark matter, which is not made of atoms or any of the parts of atoms and does not emit or absorb light.
The remaining 68 percent is even more mysterious dark energy. We live in a double dark universe.
...The most popular new idea in particle theory at the time was supersymmetry, according to which the Standard Model is just half the story. For each fundamental particle in that model, there is another particle that is too massive to have been produced at our particle accelerators.
...Dark matter is our friend. Dark matter creates the galaxies and all the other large structures that are held together by gravity. Without dark matter the universe would just be a thin soup of ordinary matter. There would be no galaxies, no stars, no heavy elements, no rocky planets, and no life. So we owe a tremendous debt to dark matter.
...The idea that any aspect of the universe is either male or female is, of course, not to be taken literally. But there is no reason that people outside science should process the ideas of modern cosmology in the same way that scientists have.
Science is discovering a remarkable unity and intricacy to the natural world, and mythological concepts can perhaps help us experience these connections.