Welcome to the biggest mystery in physics: one of the great known unknowns of the universe is the nature of dark energy, an antigravitaional force field making the universe expand faster. Current theories range from end-of-the universe scenarios to dark energy as the manifestation of advanced intelligent life. It is the proverbial elephant in the “cosmic” room. (more…)
In an interview with The Atlantic, Noble Prize winning physicist Adam Riess said: “I have absolutely no clue what dark energy is. Dark energy appears strong enough to push the entire universe – yet its source is unknown, its location is unknown and its physics are highly speculative.”
An experiment to test a popular theory that dark energy –the unknown force that is causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate– is a ‘fifth’ force that acts on matter has found no evidence of its existence. “The discovery of dark energy has greatly changed how we think about the laws of nature,” said Edward Witten, one of the world’s leading theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. who has been compared to Newton and Einstein.
“The Hubble tension between the early and late universe may be the most exciting development in cosmology in decades,” says Nobel laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University. New Hubble Space Telescope data suggests a faster expansion rate in the modern universe than expected based on how the universe appeared more than 13 billion years ago, strengthening the case that new theories may be needed to explain the dark energy forces that have shaped the cosmos.
Several mind-boggling conjectures about the existence of advanced alien civilizations have been made by astrophysicists who have found that for the last 7 billion years or so something is pushing the galaxies, adding energy to them. Something they are calling “dark energy,” a force that is real, but so far eludes detection. One of the most speculative ideas for the mechanism of an accelerating cosmic expansion is called “quintessence”, a relative of the Higgs field that permeates the cosmos.