Standard Model

A schematic of particles and forces described by the Standard Model. (Image Credit: Fermilab, modified by Ethan Siegel of the blog "Starts With a Bang!")

The Standard Model is a framework of particle physics that accurately describes three of the four recognized forces of nature—the electromagnetic, strong and weak forces—and all known subatomic particles. This model, developed in the second half of the 20th century, most recently received additional, significant support with the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson. Despite the Standard Model's successes, it cannot explain several major phenomena, all of which are currently under intense investigation by physicists, astrophysicists and cosmologists. An example is the force of gravity as prescribed by the theory of general relativity. The Standard Model also does not readily offer candidate particles for dark matter, nor does it account for the universe' accelerating expansion that is attributed to dark energy. These "dark" phenomena comprise 27 and 68 percent, respectively, of the universe's mass and energy. Accordingly, the Standard Model applies to only five percent of nature. Efforts are underway to extend or subsume the Standard Model into a so-called Theory of Everything by obtaining a better understanding of the properties of gravity, dark matter and dark energy.

Delving Into the 'Dark Universe' with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

May 27, 2015
An illustration of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

Two astrophysicists and a theoretical physicist discuss how the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will probe the nature of dark matter and dark energy by taking an unprecedentedly enormous scan of the sky.

Spotlight Live: Dark Matter at Long Last? Three New Experiments Ramp Up (Transcript)

Dec 11, 2014

Scientists working on the three newest dark matter experiments are hopeful that we’ll soon understand a quarter of the universe – but they’re making no promises.

Spotlight Live: Dark Matter at Long Last? Three New Experiments Ramp Up

Nov 04, 2014

Three recently funded dark matter experiments have a good shot at glimpsing these long-sought particles. Three scientists on these projects debate the state of the hunt for dark matter, discuss the status of their experiments, and answer your questions.

New Dark Matter Experiments Prepare to Hunt the Unknown

Oct 22, 2014

Three new dark matter experiments are moving ahead with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. National Science Foundation — will one of them finally capture a glimpse of the universe's most elusive material?

Searching High & Low for Dark Matter

Apr 04, 2014

During an annual conference, “Dark Matter 2014," hosted at University of California, Los Angeles, three leading physicists spent an hour discussing dark matter and its biggest highlights and prospects for future progress.

The Brain or the Universe – Where Does Math Come From?

Aug 07, 2013

What are the origins of math? Is math an inherent part of our reality, or merely something the brain uses to cope with, and explain, our environment? Four scientists discuss (and debate) the merits of both viewpoints.

Spotlight Live: The Brain or the Universe – Where Does Math Come From?

Aug 02, 2013

The Brain or the Universe – Where Does Math Come From? On August 7, 2013, three leading scientists - two neuroscientists and one astrophysicist -– answered your questions about this debate during a live Google Hangout.

Are We Closing In On Dark Matter?

Dec 05, 2012

As the search for dark matter intensifies, a colloquium brought together cosmologists, particle physicists and observational astrophysicists --- three fields now united in the hunt to determine what is dark matter.

Discovering Dark Matter: A Conversation with Roger Blandford

Dec 04, 2012
Roger Blanford

KIPAC DIrector Roger Blandford discusses the recent meeting "Dark Matter Universe: On the Threshold of Discovery," which brought together astrophysics, cosmologists and particle physicists about the state of discovering dark matter.

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