Dark energy is simply the name given to an extremely mysterious force. Which causes the pace of the universe’s expansion to speed up over time. And not to slow down as expected by the general theory of relativity. Contrary to what one may expect from such a massive universe that started out in a relatively small bang. Astronomers in the last century learned that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. It was only a matter of time before science could put a finger on this enigmatic energy.

What is Dark Energy?

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Source: NASA

In order to understand how dark energy affects our day-to-day lives, it is necessary to lay some ground rules. For firstly understanding gravity itself. For example, if you take note of the fact that celestial bodies like the moon and stars move relative to each other; then you should also take note of the effect that gravity has on the minute particles. Those that make up a human being. That is why it has long been a source of interest to scientists. To find out more about this strange force.

When astronomers study the movement of celestial objects, they notice a certain pattern. 

According to their interpretation, this movement can best be explained by the existence of a “cosmological constant”. This cosmological constant refers to the values and fluctuations of all the elementary particles that make up the universe. Among these particles, dark energy has been determined to have a strong influence. Some other particles are more stable, and hence don’t contribute to this darkness.

The biggest mystery of dark energy has been its cause. 

No one so far knows what causes it, although theories abound. One of the most popular ideas about the source is that it is the product of a powerful repulsive force between ordinary matter and dark matter. Another idea is that the distribution of this repulsive force is uneven, which explains the large-scale structure of the universe. Even more recent theories suggest that the distribution of dark matter is even more irregular. With some areas much denser than others.

If this is so, it would mean that dark energy isn’t a constant, as was stated before.

Instead, it has an accelerating growth rate. Researchers have also formulated mathematical formulas that predict the rate at which dark energy will expand. These formulas were recently proven to be correct. As the expansion rate has been measured with great accuracy over a period of nearly fifty years.

However, scientists have also discovered a correlation between dark energy and the expansion of the universe. 

Since it is believed that ordinary matter is cooling off; while the dark matter is expanding; we can safely assume that this is the case. With this discovery, it has also been determined that the largest galaxy is not completely populated. It is very similar to the early days of the universe. Before the birth of the largest of all known galaxies. Which means that there must have been plenty of other smaller galaxies in the past. This proves that normal matter must have existed on other planets before the big bang.

Other predictions of the future are also proving to be true. 

It is now believed by most scientists that it will not be long before we find a way to detect dark energy directly. This will allow scientists to test their predictions and see if they are correct. Once this is done, we will know exactly what to expect as the space-time fabric of the universe expands. Giving us the chance to study what it looks like when dark energy is present.

In the end, it appears that Albert Einstein’s prediction was nothing more than a blunder. 

Dark energy has nothing to do with the space-time continuum. But it is something that is necessary for a smooth functioning of the entire system. Knowing this, scientists are just beginning to take it seriously enough to create satellites. And the space vehicles that are designed to check for and destroy dark energy flares. If these discoveries are true, it means that we may soon be able to use the power of dark energy. To produce extra energy for our use here on earth.

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