Making Sense Of The New Cosmology
Over the past three years we have determined the basic features of the Universe -- spatially flat; accelerating; comprised of 1/3 a new form of matter, 2/3 a new form of energy, with some ordinary matter and a dash of massive neutrinos; and apparently born from a burst of rapid expansion during which quantum noise was stretched to astrophysical size seeding cosmic structure. The New Cosmology greatly extends the highly successful hot big-bang model. Now we have to make sense of all this: What is the dark matter particle? What is the nature of the dark energy? Why this mixture? How did the matter -- antimatter asymmetry arise? What is the underlying cause of inflation (if it indeed occurred)?