• Question: What is the universe made of? sorry im ust suspicious :)

    Asked by sodiumpolyacrylate to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 15 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Protons, neutrons and electrons make up most of the matter in the universe, since every atom is made up of different numbers of these. They are the building blocks of the universe. We get the different types atoms by fusion (joining) of these within the core of stars. That’s also what gives the energy that makes the star hot, and also is what we hope to use to make energy on the earth in the future.

      There are other types of matter, which is what the particle physicists investigate, but these live for such short times (the particles, not the physicists) that for most purposes they don’t really matter to us. They are really important for understanding the basic principles of the big bang, but you can get a long way with the idea of just protons, electrons and neutrons.

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Stardust. Everything around us and everything in the Universe came from the stuff that got thrown out when the Big Bang happened. So, to quote an astromony-guy called Carl Sagan, even “we ourselves are made of stardust”, which is a pretty nice thought.