Dark matter—it’s the substance in the universe physicists can’t detect because it doesn’t interact with electromagnetic forces. Scientists postulate that ninety-five percent of the universe’s matter is dark matter. That’s a lot of stuff to know nothing about. But wait—it gets more complicated! Dark matter may be ninety-five percent of matter, but it’s only twenty-seven percent of the total universe. The majority of the universe, sixty-eight percent, is dark energy.
What’s dark energy? According to NASA and CERN, an international particle physics research laboratory, dark energy is distributed evenly throughout the universe in both time and space. It’s the mysterious force in the “vacuum” of space that’s causing the universe to expand. Combined, dark matter and dark energy make up ninety-five percent of the universe.
So, if you do the algebra (which I did in Figure 1, below), what we see—the stars, galaxies, and everything on Earth—makes up less than one and one-half of a percent of the universe. A lot is going on around us to which we’re oblivious—some more oblivious than others.
Now, as a correlate to my Theory of Socially Induced Dipoles, I propose this: What we think we see—a car, bicycle, one-lane bridge, or box of Cheerios—isn’t that at all. We’re just snippets of the universe’s total matter and energy, transient in time and space and subject to forces like induced dipoles. The visible form is an illusion. There are no individual cars, bridges, or people, just a volatile stew of potentially interchangeable energy and matter. And most of that energy and matter is “dark.” So, the next time I’m feeling important, I’ll try to remember my actual position in this universe—a tiny and transient bit of matter and energy in a large universe of everything else. See Figure 2.
U = everything in the universe = 1.0 (or 100%)
M= all matter = dark matter (dm) + visible matter (vm)
E = all energy = dark energy (de) +visible (measurable) energy (ve)
U = M + E = dm + vm + de + ve
dm = dark matter = 95% of all matter in the universe = 0.95M
vm = visible matter = 0.05M
dm = dark matter = 27% of the universe = 0.27U
de = dark energy = 68% of the universe = 0.68U
Solve for vm in terms of U:
dm = 0.95M and dm = 0.27U, therefore 0.95M = 0.27U
M = 0.27U / 0.95 = 0.28U
vm = 0.05M, therefore vm = 0.05 x 0.28U
vm = 0.014U
All visible matter—that’s everything that can be seen, touched, or whatever—makes up only 1.4% of the universe. Almost ninety-nine percent of reality is something else.