Scientists, physicists mostly, are working to prove that matter, and life, coagulated from the electromagnetic pulses that exist, even in a perfect vacumn.
The link below is from the University of California, Berkeley museum of Natural Science. They do a much better job of explaining the theory than I do.
See "From Soup to Cells" on the origin of life. A terrific presentation of the begining at http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/origsoflife_01
The Large Hadron Collider is to begin operating in the winter of 2009, according to scientists and engineers at the European Center for Nuclear Research, known as CERN
The collider is designed to accelerate protons to 7 trillion electron volts and then smash them together in fireballs reminiscent of the first trillionth of a second of time,
The accelerator, Dr. Gianotti explained, would take physics into a realm of energy and time where the current reigning theories simply do not apply, corresponding to an era when cosmologists think that the universe was still differentiating itself, evolving from a primordial blandness and endless potential into the forces and particles that constitute modern reality.
She listed possible discoveries like a mysterious particle called the Higgs that is thought to endow other particles with mass, new forms of matter that explain the mysterious dark matter waddling the cosmos and even new dimensions of spacetime.
In the Standard Model, a suite of equations describing all the forces but gravity, which has held sway as the law of the cosmos for the last 35 years, elementary particles are born in the Big Bang without mass, sort of like Adam and Eve being born without sin.
Some of them (the particles, that is) acquire their heft, so the story goes, by wading through a sort of molasses that pervades all of space. The Higgs process, named after Peter Higgs, a Scottish physicist who first showed how this could work in 1964, has been compared to a cocktail party where particles gather their masses by interaction. The more they interact, the more mass they gain.
The Higgs idea is crucial to a theory that electromagnetism and the weak force are separate manifestations of a single so-called electroweak force. It shows how the massless bits of light called photons could be long-lost brothers to the heavy W and Z bosons, which would gain large masses from such cocktail party interactions as the universe cooled.
The confirmation of the theory by the Nobel-winn target="_blank">ing work at Cern 20 years ago ignited hopes among physicists that they could eventually unite the rest of the forces of nature.
Moreover, Higgs-like fields have been proposed as the source of an enormous burst of expansion, known as inflation, early in the universe, and, possibly, as the secret of the dark energy that now seems to be speeding up the expansion of the universe. So it is important to know whether the theory works and, if not, to find out what does endow the universe with mass.