Dark Energy – A Blunder? Particle Physics Controversy

Dark energy has been the subject of interest by many individuals over the years. 

In fact, this energy was the topic of discussion during the early days of the scientific community, before the modern concept of Einsteinian relativity came about. It remains a source of debate for many scientists today.

Dark energy is also known as vacuum energy.

This is because it is believed that it exists even at temperatures close to absolute zero. 

Absolute zero (the theoretical temperature where nothing can exist) is also known as thermodynamics’ last zero. To put it simply, it’s a condition where no matter can exist. That is opposed to what one may think of as being the case with a Big Bang that started out in a relatively high temperature. Astronomers in the late 20th century finally realized that the universe is expanding, which further explained the presence of dark energy.

After studying the distribution of matter and the evolution of the universe under the influence of gravity, a new theory was formulated by Albert Einstein. His general theory of relativity explained gravity as a source of mass. Using equations, Einstein came up with the concept of a “Higgs boson” which provides the missing density necessary for a weak force, such as that produced by dark energy.

Since the Higgs boson is a type of particle, it had to be produced within the universe.

Otherwise else it would have been impossible to create. 

Other researchers came up with the idea of a multiverse, which involves multiple universes that contain similar laws of physics. The parallel universes that exist side-by-side led to the conclusion that dark energy is a part of the structure of the entire universe. Because other particles from other regions of the cosmos have an effect on our own, the expansion of the entire structure of the cosmos could not be stopped even if other matter were absent.

Because dark energy seems to be a particularly elusive aspect of science, people are wondering what it actually is. 

Particle physicists have succeeded in producing specific amounts of energy, which they can study with the aid of high energy physics equipment. Scientists have also used computers to further describe dark energy density. One computer program created by a South Carolina university allows users to simulate the distribution of dark matter within the Milky Way Galaxy using just a few mouse clicks. Computer simulated clouds of high energy density give scientists a better understanding of how to best study this mysterious force.

Another group of researchers has succeeded in producing a working model of dark energy out of perturbations to the very basic properties of gravity. This group, made up of graduate students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, showed that the standard model of cosmology greatly underestimated the value of perturbations to the cosmological constant. The value of the cosmological constant is the amount of force that makes a particle move with a particular momentum. The study was achieved by using a network of about twenty five different types of particles with different orbital periods.

Perturbations to the cosmological constant can affect all of the energy that makes up space-time.

That also includes that which makes up dark energy. 

By manipulating the orbits of these twenty five particles, the researchers were able to show that the value of the cosmological constant changes as a function of time. The study was carried out using special relativity and quantum theory. Physicists believe that dark energy is produced by an increase in the Planck’s constant, which is measured by measuring the distance that space-time has from a point in empty space. The increased value of Planck’s constant results from the existence of a strong vacuum. By increasing the size of this vacuum, a cosmological constant change is induced.

Conclusion

There are a few other theories which attempt to explain the existence of dark energy more fully. One such is that space-time itself is not a vacuum, but simply an inflating or shrinking region. This is why the expansion rate of the universe is faster at the edges than it is at the center, as is evidenced by the Big Bang Theory. Another similar idea is that the early universe was devoid of matter, but has since differentiated into a variety of smaller bodies. By adding another vacuum to the interior, we may be able to account for the presence of dark energy.

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