A Recipe for the Cosmos

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Science  17 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6011, pp. 1615
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6011.1615

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For eons, humans have peered into the starry sky and wondered, "Where did it all come from?" Cosmologists still don't have a solid answer, but in the past decade they have deduced a very precise recipe for the content of the universe, as well as instructions for putting it together. The advance has transformed cosmology from a largely qualitative endeavor to a precision science with a standard theory that provides little wiggle room for other ideas, even as it leaves obvious questions unanswered. Like it or not, cosmologists are now more or less stuck with the theory.