Somewhere in the recess of our collective soul, we identify with Darth Vader. The epitomy of evil in a black cloak, he has feelings. We know he has feelings, just like every other sentient thing does. Inhuman features take nothing from his human characteristics, and we all have some of his dust in us.
Right now, across the scientific world, the hunt for Dark Matter is hotting up. The Higgs Boson discovery keeps unleashing more surprises, not least of which is an uncanny link between the God Particle scam and a recent episode of Stargate SG1 on Pick TV - just before Atlantis took the crew a step too far.
Other surprises are a complete change of character - just a little while ago the Higgs was described as 'vanilla' - in particle physics-speak this means boring, ordinary and bog-standard. But flavours of the month do suddenly change, and researchers found that the Higgs could be a portal to other dimensions, not your run-of-the-mill average particle at all but a very colourful character. This could contribute to the unravelling of the Dark Energy mystery (Dark Materials are dark, of course, so naturally are also elusive).
Darth Vader is a force to be reckoned with. He is perfectly serious in his quest to get there first. Knowledge is power, and knowledge of Dark Materials is going to give the recipient a lot of clout out there in the human network. Understanding what makes our fragments of Vaderism tick is going to be gold worth having.
Pictures from the telescopes and space stations dotted around the planet keep getting better at showing us images of Dark Matter illusions, created by bounding different photon wavelengths off the radiation signature The Dark is said to leave behind.
My reference to The Emperor of Dark Materials shall be restricted to "Imperial One" when such notation is appropriate in the context of delivery. My Lord Apophis must retain his beloved form of address, and to no other would I dream of bestowing it.
The images now are brazen and bright, pausing the possibility of a teeming seething soup of Darkness which overrides everything in and between every Galaxy and Intergalactic Neighbourhood, a stuff which speaks its own language, lives by its own rules, and works in its own mysterious ways.
Only we don't want to see it as being Dark, so we are trying very hard to shine a light on it and illuminate it with pretty pictures like this one. At the same time as we are being shown these candyfloss treats, billions of global currency is being poured into major high-physics projects like this one - the ILC.
We must think on. The Dark is a highly valued prize. The cover story you can read in the link above to the ILC. But there's more, much more. I have visited a lot of conferences and spoken to a lot of people who will not speak with me.
Oh yes, Imperial One. My hand is small I know but it's not yours, it is my own and we are never broken.
Kathy is the author of Quantumology. She met up with quantum mechanics in 1997, pledging allegiance to its sources thereafter. These are her personal thoughts and testimonies.