The 4% Universe
Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the
Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
THE ESSENTIAL EXCERPT
"Dark," cosmologists call it, in what could go down in history as the ultimate semantic surrender. This is not "dark" as in distant or invisible. This is not "dark" as in black holes or deep space. This is "dark" as in unknown for now, and possibly forever: 23 percent something mysterious that they call dark matter, 73 percent something even more mysterious that they call dark energy. Which leaves only 4 percent the stuff of us. As one theorist likes to say at public lectures, "We're just a bit of pollution." Get rid of us and of everything else we've ever thought of as the universe, and very little would change. "We're completely irrelevant," he adds, cheerfully.
THE 4% UNIVERSE
“A lively new account of twentieth-century (plus a little twenty-first-century) cosmology....The book is as much about how the science got done as about the science itself.”
“The centerpiece of The 4% Universe is a compelling narrative of science at its best.”
“Fascinating. One of the most important stories in the history of science.”
"The balance between lively characters and provocative ideas keeps the book moving as quickly as a high-stakes thriller, but the payoff here is an answer of truly cosmic significance."
—Ad Astra, the magazine of the National Space Society
"Impeccably researched and highly readable."
"Panek writes eloquently about the mind-bending search for meaning in a universe dominated by stuff no one can see."
“By brilliantly capturing the passions and pursuits, Panek has made this cosmic quest exciting and understandable.”
“In his journalistic yet artful style, Panek guides you through the quirky discoveries that established the existence of dark matter and dark energy. But along the way, you also get to meet the quirky cosmologists who got us there.”