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What is the Universe made of? Part I

by Michael Nielsen on April 7, 2007

This post is, more than usual, a work in progress. It is the first draft of the first installment of a longer article on the subject “What is the Universe made of”. I intend to revise this draft and finish the longer article over the next few weeks, posting it to my blog as I make progress.

This first installment gives a bird’s-eye view of the subject, describing in very broad terms how ideas from particle physics, from cosmology, and from quantum gravity have contributed to our current understanding of what the Universe is made of. It’s really just a warm-up – subsequent installments will be meatier, describing in more detail each of these ideas, how they fit together, and some of the big questions that remain. The next installment will describe the standard model of particle physics in some detail.

The article is intended for a general audience, albeit one with a good grounding in basic science. Physicists hoping for a technical treatment will be disappointed. I certainly can’t claim any great expertise in the subject; while I’m a theoretical physicist, my work has been mostly on quantum information, not particle physics, cosmology, or quantum gravity, and I’m far from being expert on the topics discussed here. If you are an expert, and spot any errors, I’d appreciate hearing about them.

Here’s a link to the article. (PDF only, I’m afraid).

5 Comments
  1. It’s…it’s….alive! I love articles like this, and even though I’ve heard the story before 🙂 , I look forward to your future installments.

  2. Thanks, Dave!

  3. Yay! Great to have you back, Michael!!!!

  4. Thankyou, Aggie 🙂

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