What a weird and wonderful cosmos we live in! Here’s an astounding fact. If you take all of the ordinary objects you can see, from tables and chairs to all the stars and planets in the universe, you will have accounted for less than 5% of the universe’s total mass-energy. The other 95%? That’s invisible stuff like dark matter and dark energy.
What is it
All the matter we have ever observed accounts for less than 5% of the universe. The rest? Dark energy and dark matter: mysterious entities that we only know about from their interactions with other matter. We infer their existence to satisfy our laws—but are we justified in making conclusions about what we cannot directly measure? How far can we trust our scientific laws? Where do we cross the line from theoretical science to metaphysics, and can the two overlap? John and Ken see the light with Priya Natarajan from Yale University, author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos.
Part of our series A Philosophical Guide to the Cosmos.