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The universe is expanding, but scientists know little about the dark energy associated with it

The universe is expanding, but scientists know little about the dark energy associated with it

"The universe is not only expanding, but it is expanding in an accelerated way," Robbert Dijkgraaf, Dutch mathematical physicist and string theorist, explained to an audience at Gresham College in London.  "A force called 'dark energy' is pushing the universe apart," he said.  Dark energy had been identified by Albert Einstein, who thought that it was holding the universe together.  Physicists have since learned that dark energy acts completely opposite from Einstein's speculation.

The expansive qualities of the dark energy, Dijkgraaf says, has dramatic consequences.  "In the end, the universe will be expanding so fast that most of the galaxies that we see now will actually be far, far away and we will, in some sense, be looking at really a dark void."

Dark energy is the greatest "known unknown" of the universe. Dark matter and energy comprise approximately 96 percent of the universe, but physicists know little about the physical phenomena.  Only 4 percent of the universe is described in our textbooks and science.


{video link | full lecture on ForaTV}

About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    Now this is fascinating and cool. :)

  • Rob S

    "…will actually be far, far away and
    we will, in some sense, be looking at really a dark void." Question: who is "we"?

    • Deborah_B

      I thought the same thing, Rob, but blew it off as being too picayune because the statement was for illustrative purposes so that the audience could be drawn in and visualize what he was talking about.

      I suppose he could have said something like, "If any living thing capable of sight existed at that point on earth, and that living life form had access to a functioning high powered telescope that was still capable of viewing galaxies, then the life form would be looking at…" That loses the punch.

      For a written textbook or class presentation, yes, be specific; but for a general lecture that helps get people interested in science, draconian speech to make sure that every single word uttered complies with draconian grammar rules kills the message.

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