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Author Topic: What is dark energy? What is the evidence for its existence?  (Read 1820 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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Hi,

7 Dark energy
IT IS one of the most famous, and most embarrassing, problems in physics. In 1998, astronomers discovered that the universe is expanding at ever faster speeds. It's an effect still searching for a cause - until then, everyone thought the universe's expansion was slowing down after the big bang. "Theorists are still floundering around, looking for a sensible explanation," says cosmologist Katherine Freese of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. "We're all hoping that upcoming observations of supernovae, of clusters of galaxies and so on will give us more clues."

One suggestion is that some property of empty space is responsible - cosmologists call it dark energy. But all attempts to pin it down have fallen woefully short. It's also possible that Einstein's theory of general relativity may need to be tweaked when applied to the very largest scales of the universe. "The field is still wide open," Freese says.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 18:53:48 by chris »


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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See also the answer on dark matter.

It is also possible that large irregularities in the density of the universe could affect the results. see this month's Scientific American for part of the story.

Sorry I got the reference wrong it's in the 15th November issue of New Scientist  under the front page headline of "Home Alone  Do we live in a giant cosmic void"
« Last Edit: 18/11/2008 10:03:14 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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OK thanks

Alan
 

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