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The dark universe is a 'puzzle with missing pieces'

9 December 2013 Last updated at 08:43 GMT

The discovery of the Higgs boson particle, for which Peter Higgs is to receive a Nobel Prize for Physics, marks the completion of the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

However, US cosmologist Professor Paul Halpern told the Today programme's Tom Feilden that this model is a "puzzle with many missing pieces", as it explains just 5% of the visible universe.

The focus has now switched to Beyond the Standard Model (BSM), which the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will explore further when activity begins at the site again in 2015.

Professor Rolf Heuer, director general at CERN, said he hopes this will open "the first window into the dark universe", which makes up about 95% of material in the universe.

Professor Paul Alexander from the Battcock Centre for Experimental Astrophysics in Cambridge is working on the next generation radio telescope, called the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

"The current model is that there is matter, dark matter and dark energy," he said.

"One of the tasks is to identify and understand how these components… evolve over cosmic time."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 9 December 2013.

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