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Now that they’ve identified the Higgs boson, scientists at the LHC have set their sights on an even more elusive target. All around us is dark matter and dark energy—the invisible stuff that binds the galaxy together, but which no one has been able to directly detect.

“We know for sure there’s a dark world, and there’s more energy in it than there is in ours,” says LianTao Wang, a professor of physics at University of Chicago who studies how to find signals in large particle accelerators like the LHC.

While the dark world makes up more than 95 percent of the universe, scientists only know it exists from its effects—like a poltergeist you can only see when it pushes something off a shelf. For example, we know there’s dark matter because we can see gravity acting on it—it helps keep our galaxies from flying apart.

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Category: Science