The conjecture, if true, would mean the density of dark energy in our universe cannot be constant, but must instead take a form called “quintessence” — an energy source that will gradually diminish over tens of billions of years. Several telescope experiments are underway now to more precisely probe whether the universe is expanding with a constant rate of acceleration, which would mean that as new space is created, a proportionate amount of new dark energy arises with it, or whether the cosmic acceleration is gradually changing, as in quintessence models. A discovery of quintessence would revolutionize fundamental physics and cosmology, including rewriting the cosmos’s history and future. Instead of tearing apart in a Big Rip, a quintessent universe would gradually decelerate, and in most models, would eventually stop expanding and contract in either a Big Crunch or Big Bounce.
Paul Steinhardt, a cosmologist at Princeton University and one of Vafa’s co-authors, said that over the next few years, “all eyes should be on” measurements by the Dark Energy Survey, WFIRST and Euclid telescopes of whether the density of dark energy is changing. “If you find it’s not consistent with quintessence,” Steinhardt said, “it means either the swampland idea is wrong, or string theory is wrong, or both are wrong or — something’s wrong.” Natalie Wolchover, “Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory” at Quanta
See also: Researchers: The symmetrons needed to explain dark energy were not found
Rob Sheldon: Has dark energy finally been found? In pop science mags?
Are recent dark energy findings a blow for multiverse theory?
Science at sunset: Dark energy might make a multiverse hospitable to life… if it exists