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What Is the Universe Made of? (Matter, Energy, and Interactions)

  • Barry B. Luokkala
Chapter
Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Abstract

Having considered the nature of space and time, we now turn our attention to the stuff of the universe: what do we know about the things—both material and immaterial—which inhabit space and time? The state of our current understanding of matter and energy is both highly detailed and very incomplete. We still have a lot to learn. As already hinted in Chap.  2, Einstein’s theory of general relativity is very successful at describing physics on the large scale (planetary, stellar, galactic, and so forth) but is completely incompatible with quantum mechanics—an equally successful model of physics, but at the subatomic scale. The ongoing quest to resolve this incompatibility is one of the most interesting and open fields of physics research. In this chapter, we will explore various properties of materials, including some of the latest developments in materials science. But we will begin with a look at the fundamental building blocks of matter and one of the most intriguing questions of modern physics: What is the universe made of?

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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