Most of the World is Dark

Today, Professor and astronomer Jens Hjorth received Denmark’s largest individual research award, VILLUM FONDEN's 2017 Annual Award, for breakthroughs in the field of cosmology.

The universe is dark – and mainly consists of dark matter and dark energy. Only 5% of the universe is composed of luminous matter from galaxies, planets and stars. Yet little is known about the rest of the universe. But according to Professor Jens Hjorth we do know that it is there, because dark matter interacts with gravitational forces.

The big questions that we all ask
Professor Jens Hjorth is the director of the Dark Cosmology Centre (DARK) at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute. He established the research centre in a quest for answers.

I like to ask the big questions. Who hasn’t sat outside, gazed up at the sky and wondered: ‘what is out there?’ It is a primal fascination, one that does not require being a scientist to experience. I'm totally driven by this curiosity. An epistemological, philosophical need for perspective on our existence. I want to know how things fit together. To qualify what we know, and what we do not – and I am unsatisfied until I get answers 
explains Professor Jens Hjorth.

Dark matter - hunting for the great forces behind structure in the universe
Jens Hjorth explains that the majority of things in this world are dark, not because of any dark color, but because they are invisible. The immense dark universe does not interact with light. Nor does it emit or absorb light. As such, most of the universe is cut off from light.

We talk a lot about reason and experience. ‘I've seen it with my own eyes’, we say. And thus, we believe. When we can't see something, we do not believe that it exists. This won’t get us far if we intend to understand reality
says Professor Jens Hjorth

For further readings about the award and Professor Jens Hjorth's science please see the website of the VELUX FOUNDATIONS.

The non-profit foundation, the VELUX FOUNDATIONS is the main shareholder of VKR Holding A/S, the owner of the VELUX Group.

About VILLUM FONDEN's Annual Award

About the VELUX Group

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