Dark energy may, after all, be just a myth as a new study reveals that the Universe’s constant expansion rates would not require such an acceleration means.
A new study conducted by a team of Oxford University scientists and published in the Scientific Reports journal comes to contradict the generally accepted, but not previously attested idea according to which the Universe needs “dark energy”.
For the past few decades, scientists have believed in the cosmological theory which states that our Universe is not expanding at a constant rate. As the idea was that as the Universe gets older, its growth seems to increase, the only possible means of this accelerated expansion would be the addition of an extra energy.
According to the same theory, 70 percent of all the observable Universe energy can be explained and accounted for by the existence of dark energy.
But the new research comes to contradict the core basis of this decades-old theory as it reveals that the Universe does, in fact, increase constantly.
The research was based on a study of supernovae, and the such gathered data supports and reflects the idea that the universe has a constant rate of expansion.
The idea in itself is not a new one, as the steady expansion model was generally believed to be true before the wider acceptance during the late 1990’s of the irregular growth theory.
If the idea will come to be proven valid and be accepted as standard, the even existence of dark energy will raise questions.
The Universe expansion rates were estimated in both theories after Ia supernovae observations. These occur after the destruction of a white dwarf star and offer already predictable degrees of brightness and fade outs.
The 1990’s study which led to the currently accepted theory considered the explosions fainter than it was to be expected, and drew the conclusion that the Universe’s accelerating rate of expansion was fueled by another type of energy.
The Oxford study team based their research on the same type of data, but theirs included a wider, bigger database of available supernovae. It also performed a closer examination of the available information and previous knowledge.
Their research revealed that the accelerated expansion rates theory places at most somewhere in the middle realm of possibility, or at a physicists’ ‘3 sigma’.
As the larger database should come as a more stable theory base, the existence of other dark energy theories will be sure to ensure the current theory’s survival and the constant expansion rates will not immediately be accepted by everyone.
Still, the scientists hope that these new data will lead other physicists towards a closer, more precise analysis of the cosmological models and theories, and towards a better understanding of the Universe.
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