Dark energy is swallowing the big Universe: Study

Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation

A new study by the researchers from the UK and Italy has revealed that dark matter, the cosmic scaffolding on which the universe is built, is being slowly erased by dark energy.

The researchers examined data from a number of astronomical surveys and tested different models of dark energy. Their study claims that the dark energy that grows by interacting with dark matter is slowing down the growth of structure in the cosmos. This means that a universe will end up being empty with almost nothing in it.

Professor David Wands, director of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, said that dark matter provides a framework for structures to grow in the universe.

Professor Wands said cosmology underwent a paradigm shift in 1998 when researchers announced that the rate at which the universe was expanding was accelerating. The idea of a constant dark energy throughout space-time then became a standard model of cosmology.

Professor Wands mentioned that since the late 1990s, astronomers have been convinced that something is causing the expansion of our universe to accelerate. The simplest explanation was that empty space had an energy density that was a cosmological constant.

However, according to him, this simple model cannot explain the full range of astronomical data researchers now have access to. The growth of cosmic structures and galaxies has been slower than expected.

The Portsmouth and Rome researchers believe they have found a better description, including energy transfer between dark energy and dark matter.

Professor Dragan Huterer, of the University of Michigan, said, "The paper does look very interesting. Any time there is a new development in the dark energy sector we need to take notice since so little is understood about it".

The report was published by the American Physical Society in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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