At a panel earlier this month, undergraduates in the joint specialist Physics and Philosophy program at U of T posed philosophical questions arising from findings in physics to Professors David Curtin, Michael Luke, and Michael Miller at McLennan Physical Laboratories.
Dark matter and dark energy
Valentina Pentcheva, a Physics and Philosophy specialist, explained that dark energy and dark matter are unobservable components of reality, which compose 72 per cent and 23 per cent of the universe respectively. That leaves only five per cent of the universe observable.
Theories of dark matter and dark energy arose from researchers “trying to make sense of observations that contradict our physical theories up until now,” continued Pentcheva. Dark energy explains the “rapid expansion of the universe” while dark matter explains the movement of stars at the edge of galaxies.
“How can we consider our science adequate, if we missed over 90 per cent of our universe?” asked Pentcheva.