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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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With Higgs Found, Scientists Turn Their Gaze to Dark Matter

July 11, 2012, 10:45 AM

What's the Latest Development?

University of Michigan scientists have detected new threads of dark matter binding together two groups of galaxies called Abell 222 and Abell 223. "They were able to do so by looking at the distorting effect the thread’s gravity has on light emitted by galaxies behind it. Measuring these distortions allowed the researchers to work out both the thread’s shape and its mass (about 60 trillion times the mass of the sun)." Meanwhile, scientists on Earth are preparing the Large Hadron Collider, which recently discovered evidence of the Higgs boson, to create individual particles of dark matter. 

What's the Big Idea?

Because dark matter does not interact with the electromagnetic field, it is invisible to light, meaning that any optical detection, even with fine-tuned instruments, is impossible. Yet scientists have detected gravitational interaction. Complicating matters further, however, both dark matter and ordinary matter are affected by gravity, causing them to cluster together. "Models of the evolution of the universe suggest, though, that this clustering is secondary. The young universe was first filled with a lattice of threads of dark matter, then the visible stuff gathered around these threads and formed the galaxies familiar today."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com



With Higgs Found, Scientist...

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