Chapter 1. Darkness there, and nothing more.
Poe’s famous midnight thinker stared into the darkness seeing nothing, nothing except for what his imagination allowed. Now we stare out into the darkness, using every machination of modern technology, but are still limited by our imagination. The telescope expands our view of the universe to an inconceivable size, and allows us to see into the cold blackness that stretches back to the beginning of time. Today, as we peer into the dawn of the universe, we are bringing back questions from the past like mysterious fossils etched in bedrock. Our most cherished notions about the nature of matter are challenged, and Einstein’s famous theory of general relativity, the cornerstone of our understanding of gravity, is placed under the microscope of scrutiny.
These recent observations are not the first to rock our view of the cosmos, but unlike the previous explosive revelations, these remain unsolved. The ultimate solution may cause us to abandon our most esteemed model of the universe, or may prove the existence of a new kind of matter never seen before.