Until now, researchers have believed that dark energy accounted for nearly 70 percent of the ever-accelerating, expanding universe.
For many years, this mechanism has been associated with the so-called cosmological constant, developed by Einstein in 1917, that refers to an unknown repellent cosmic power.
But because the cosmological constant — known as dark energy — cannot be measured directly, numerous researchers, including Einstein, have doubted its existence — without being able to suggest a viable alternative.
Until now. In a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, a model was tested that replaces dark energy with a dark matter in the form of magnetic forces.
“If what we discovered is accurate, it would upend our belief that what we thought made up 70 percent of the universe does not actually exist. We have removed dark energy from the equation and added in a few more properties for dark matter. This appears to have the same effect upon the universe’s expansion as dark energy,” explains Steen Harle Hansen, an associate professor at the Niels Bohr Institute’s DARK Cosmology Centre.University of Copenhagen – Faculty of Science, “New study sows doubt about the composition of 70 percent of our universe” at ScienceDaily
Dark matter is thought to be about 25% of the universe but we haven’t found a single particle of it:
“We don’t know much about dark matter other than that it is a heavy and slow particle. But then we wondered — what if dark matter had some quality that was analogous to magnetism in it? We know that as normal particles move around, they create magnetism. And, magnets attract or repel other magnets — so what if that’s what’s going on in the universe? That this constant expansion of dark matter is occurring thanks to some sort of magnetic force?” asks Steen Hansen. …
As Hansen puts it:
“Honestly, our discovery may just be a coincidence. But if it isn’t, it is truly incredible. It would change our understanding of the universe’s composition and why it is expanding. As far as our current knowledge, our ideas about dark matter with a type of magnetic force and the idea about dark energy are equally wild. Only more detailed observations will determine which of these models is the more realistic. So, it will be incredibly exciting to retest our result.University of Copenhagen – Faculty of Science, “New study sows doubt about the composition of 70 percent of our universe” at ScienceDaily
If the two competing ideas are “equally wild,” couldn’t they be equally wrong?
The paper is open access.