Question: What Is the Universe Made Of?

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  1. difficult question….I don’t think we ever discussed this when I was in high school? Or maybe I mentally blocked it out.

    I had to look it up for you, as I wouldn’t know.

    But here’s the stats:
    70% dark energy
    25% dark matter
    4% hydrogen and helium gasses
    0.5% stars
    0.3% neutrinos
    0.003% heavy elements

    Dark energy and dark mass are just a hypothetical form of energy and mass. I wouldn’t have a clue what it means and who came up with it! I think the researchers who came up with it don’t even know what it is, but they say it explains everything…..

    Neutrinos are tiny particles that do not carry any charge and heavy elements are any particles that are heavier than helium floating around our universe…


  2. Dear Sarahb; It is a h~u~g~e question! I wanted to know the exact definition of the Universe. I searched internet and found this in the Wikipedia; ‘The universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including planets, stars, galaxies, the contents of intergalactic space, and all matter and energy. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature.’

    And ‘More customarily, the universe is defined as everything that exists, (has existed, and will exist). According to our current understanding, the universe consists of three principles: space-time, forms of energy, including momentum and matter, and the physical laws that relate them.’

    Sarahb, if you ask what kind of materials(?) the universe is made of? It is too huge to know. Still Natasha has some answers!


  3. The universe is a pretty large place, so we can safely assume that not everything on the other side of it (or even just the next galaxy over) is going to be made from exactly the same stuff. Through science we know that things are made up of matter, energy, sub-atomic particles, and so on. I really don’t know much about it, so I’m going to ask a slightly different question: How do we find out what the Universe is made of?

    I really can’t answer that question either. Hmmm, now we really have to go to the drawing board.

    I want to find out what the universe is made of, but I don’t really know how. We can use things we know are true on Earth, or even our solar system, and apply that to things we discover about our universe. For example, we know from observations here on Earth that different things give off different coloured light, depending on their energy, colour, what they’re made from, etc. So, we might be able to use this information to make an informed guess about what things we observe through telescopes are made from. Of course we wouldn’t know for sure unless we somehow got a sample and did tests to find out, but it gives us somewhere to start!

    We can also run simulations in laboratories, which can give us clues as well. The people at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) do experiments by speeding up atoms in a massive accelerator called a hadron collider, until the atoms smash into each other, and then they use very fast computers and scanners to pick up what happens at that exact moment. I’m not really sure on a lot of the science, but it was doing these experiments that they discovered what we think is the Higgs Boson particle, which is part of a ‘field’ which gives all things mass. In this way, we can find new particles that we didn’t know existed previously!