Segments in this Video

Introduction: What's the Universe Made of? (01:31)


Neuroscientist Andre Fenton, Computer Scientist Rana El Kaliouby, and Mathematician Talithia Williams research the universe; astronomers have discovered that 95% is comprised of dark matter and dark energy.

Opportunity for Insight (03:05)

Astrophysicist Marcelle Soares-Santos recalls discovery of a signal created by the vibrations of neutron stars colliding 130 million light years away; astronomers detect light from the massive explosion and collect data pertinent to dark energy and dark matter comprehension.

Underground Lab (02:09)

Ken Clark leads a study at Vale Nickel and Copper Mine in Canada; he searches for dark matter, a particle that does not interact with light. Scientists believe it influenced the universe's creation.

Massive and Expanding (02:23)

One hundred years ago, scientists believed the Milky Way the entire universe. Edwin Hubble discovered that nebulas were not space gas, but distant galaxies that were moving.

Early Universe (08:33)

During the Big Bang, cosmic inflation caused rapid expansion; the energy produced should have spread matter too thinly for planet formation. Astronomer Fritz Zwicky discovered dark matter and how its gravity holds galaxies together.

Effecting Optics (05:26)

Astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan maps dark matter by studying gravitational lensing; distortions in light reveal where it is present. Computer simulations suggest it is structured like neurons, forming webs; where filaments cross, galaxies form.

Undiscovered Particle (03:35)

There is six times more dark matter than other matter; it is invisible, and only known by its impact on gravity. Scientists at CERNs have detected the Higgs Boson subatomic particle, giving regular matter mass.

Capturing Theory (06:12)

Peter Fisher builds machines to catch weakly interactive massive particles that could pass through Earth without detection. Snolab conducts four experiments in hope of identifying dark matter.

Unanticipated Findings (06:36)

Dark matter slowed the universe's rate of expansion after the Big Bang. Scientists expected it was still slowing, but after measuring the red shift of 42 supernovas, data revealed acceleration.

Unknown Force (06:39)

Dark energy comprises 70% of the universe and is pushing it apart; scientists suggest it is energy created by space's vacuum. It is the only form that duplicates itself or expands space time. Soares-Santos uses neutron star collision explosion data to measure expansion rates.

Cosmic Struggle (03:49)

The universe is being pulled apart and held together. After the Big Bang, dark matter manifested, allowing mass to form and slowing expansion; five billion years ago, it began accelerating, and dark energy dominated.

Credits: What's the Universe Made of? (01:05)

Credits: What's the Universe Made of?

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Episode 5: What's the Universe Made of? (NOVA: Wonders, Season 1)

Part of the Series : NOVA: Wonders (Season 1)
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The universe is hiding something. In fact, it is hiding a lot. Everything we experience on Earth, the stars and galaxies we see in the cosmos—all the “normal” matter and energy that we understand—make up only 5% of the known universe. Find out how scientists are discovering new secrets about the history of the universe, and why they are predicting a shocking future.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL191966

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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