I've been reading physics articles for the past few years (after taking a physics course in high school), and a few questions have been daunting me, especially in light of a few new discoveries. I will try and cite any sources I can to back up the premises for my questions. I'll start with the simple one, I suppose. Premise: The Higgs Boson was recently discovered. Or, perhaps more accurately, a previously unknown but theorized particle has been discovered. Question: What makes this particle the Higgs? To my understanding, we have proven that a particle exists in the range theorized, but I do not understand how we know this particle imbues matter with the property of mass. Premise: Dark matter seems to be a point of contention for many scientists. Some scientists claim that dark matter is an entirely new form of matter, while others suggest it is simply a place-holder. We have failed to find it around our sun: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/dark-matter-sun-gravity_n_1438425.html We have found many more suns http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/12/01/us-space-stars-idUSTRE6B053U20101201, reducing the amount of dark matter in the universe by a substantial amount. We "discovered" a dark matter tendril (which had been theorized) connecting two galaxies: http://www.nature.com/news/dark-matter-s-tendrils-revealed-1.10951 For the purposes of these questions, please assume that dark matter is not a place-holder, and instead focus on whether or not it exists. Question: 1. In the Nature article referring to "tendrils", they say that up to 9% could be hot gas, and 10% could be galaxies/visible stars. A) Is it at all possible that they are operating under the assumptions that there are far fewer stars than there actually are (basically, is the research from the Reuter's article taken into account), B) and why can these tendrils not simply be made up of regular matter? 2. Assuming dark matter exists, why would it be practically missing from our solar system/galaxy? 3. I understand why traditional black holes are no longer a contender for dark matter, but why is it more likely that a different form of matter is existent, rather than a different form of black hole (for instance, simply one without the same radiation output)? Thank you in advance for reading/answering my questions.