Primack: Why does the universe matter, or our understanding of the universe matter, as people?
Narrator: This is Science Today. Joel Primack, a leading cosmologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been studying the cosmos for years. In fact, he is one of the principal creators of the theory of cold dark matter, which is the basis for the modern picture of the how the universe was formed.
Primack: I think a lot of people really want to know the real story. Where did we come from? What is the organization of the universe? Are we just insignificant motes in no particular place in the universe or is there some grand design? The answer is, now that we're beginning to understand how it all works, that there is clearly a grand design and many respects we're not insignificant motes at all. It's turning out that our solar system is truly extraordinary in many, many ways. We've now discovered over a thousand planetary systems outside our own and we're discovering them very rapidly. But we've never seen anything like ours.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.