Nautilus

A Short History of the Missing Universe

Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine‘s Abstractions blog.

Astronomers have known where the universe’s missing matter has been hiding for the past 20 years. So why did it take so long to find it?Illustris Collaboration

he cosmos plays hide-and-seek. Sometimes, though, even when astronomers have a hunch for where their prey might hide, it can take them decades of searching to confirm it. The case of the universe’s —a case that appears to now be closed, as I reported earlier this month—is one such instance. To me, it is a fascinating tale in which clever cosmological models drew a treasure map that took

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus9 min read
Consciousness Doesn’t Depend on Language: We share the basic experience of life with all mammals.
The contrast could not have been starker—here was one of the world’s most revered figures, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, expressing his belief that all life is sentient, while I, as a card-carrying neuroscientist, presented the contemporary
Nautilus10 min readTech
Would You Survive a Merger with AI?: The cost of brain enhancement may be your identity.
The idea that humans should merge with AI is very much in the air these days. It is offered both as a way for humans to avoid being outmoded by AI in the workplace, and as a path to superintelligence and immortality. For instance, Elon Musk recently
Nautilus7 min read
Why Symbols Aren’t Forever: The removal of cultural emblems is not the erasure of history but part of it.
In November 2016, a swastika was painted on an elementary school in my Denver, Colorado, neighborhood of Stapleton. As an archaeologist who specializes in identifying the remains of animals hunted by early humans, my work doesn’t often involve symbol