A New Type of Dark Energy: Solving the Mystery of the Expansion of the Universe

Artists Concept Dark Energy Universe Expansion

Physicists’ new proposal that a new type of extra dark energy is involved is highlighted in scientific journal.

The universe was created by a giant bang; the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, and then it started to expand. The expansion is ongoing: it is still being stretched out in all directions like a balloon being inflated.

Physicists agree on this much, but something is wrong. Measuring the expansion rate of the universe in different ways leads to different results.

So, is something wrong with the methods of measurement? Or is something going on in the universe that physicists have not yet discovered and therefore have not taken into account?

“A new type of dark energy can solve the problem of the conflicting calculations.”

Martin S. Sloth, Professor

It could very well be the latter, according to several physicists, i.a. Martin S. Sloth, Professor of Cosmology at SDU.

In a new scientific article, he and his SDU colleague, postdoc Florian Niedermannn, propose the existence of a new type of dark energy in the universe. If you include it in the various calculations of the expansion of the universe, the results will be more alike.

“A new type of dark energy can solve the problem of the conflicting calculations,” says Martin S. Sloth.

Conflicting measurements

When physicists calculate the expansion rate of the universe, they base the calculation on the assumption that the universe is made up of dark energy, dark matter and ordinary matter. Until recently, all types of observations fitted in with such a model of the universe’s composition of matter and energy, but this is no longer the case.

Conflicting results arise when looking at the latest data from measurements of supernovae and the cosmic microwave background radiation; the two methods quite simply lead to different results for the expansion rate.

“In our model, we find that if there was a new type of extra dark energy in the early universe, it would explain both the background radiation and the supernova measurements simultaneously and without contradiction,” says Martin S. Sloth.

From one phase to another

“We believe that in the early universe, dark energy existed in a different phase. You can compare it to when water is cooled and it undergoes a phase transition to ice with a lower density,” he explains and continues:

“In the same way, dark energy in our model undergoes a transition to a new phase with a lower energy density, thereby changing the effect of the dark energy on the expansion of the universe.”

According to Sloth and Niedermann’s calculations, the results add up if you imagine that dark energy thus underwent a phase transition triggered by the expansion of the universe.

A very violent process

“It is a phase transition where many bubbles of the new phase suddenly appear, and when these bubbles expand and collide, the phase transition is complete. On a cosmic scale, it is a very violent quantum mechanical process,” explains Martin S. Sloth.

Today we know approx. 20 percent of the matter that the universe is made of. It is the matter that you and I, planets and galaxies are made of. The universe also consists of dark matter, which no one knows what is.

In addition, there is dark energy in the universe; it is the energy that causes the universe to expand, and it makes up approx. 70 pct. of the energy density of the universe.

Reference: “New early dark energy” by Florian Niedermann and Martin S. Sloth, 19 February 2021, Physical Review D.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.103.L041303

45 Comments on "A New Type of Dark Energy: Solving the Mystery of the Expansion of the Universe"

  1. Phase transition sounds right. But if dark matter were to phase transition to dark energy when out of a gravity well there would be more dark energy and less dark matter.

    Think water to steam when the pressure is lowered.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:11 pm | Reply

      Dark matter looks like a quantum particle field, dark energy looks like vacuum energy: many fields and no particles. Their theory seems to agree with that part.

      Your proposal wouldn’t work, unless you redefine dark energy and show how that works.

  2. Aleksandr7364 | May 11, 2021 at 11:54 am | Reply

    Oh! This is closer to the truth. Transformation of matter (strings – quarks – nucleons – atoms) leads to the transformation of energy with which they interact with each other.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFUM3vAlaGc

  3. Gayland Andrew Machala | May 11, 2021 at 12:52 pm | Reply

    So, the original fudge factor wasn’t enough, so they just keep adding terms until they agree with observations without anything to explain it. When will it end?

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:16 pm | Reply

      What “fudge factor” (apart from popscience sayings)? The latest eBoss galaxy survey – all 20 years of it – was just used to show that dark energy exist at 11 sigma confidence.

      “By combining BAO and RSD, the team confirmed the existence of dark energy to a stunning confidence level of 11-Sigma. Typically, a scientific result to 5-Sigma is taken as confirmation. A result at 11-Sigma is so strong it is about as close to certainty that we can get. Dark energy and the accelerating expansion it drives is definitely real.”

      [ https://www.universetoday.com/151042/11-sigma-detection-of-dark-energy-comes-from-measuring-over-a-million-extremely-distant-galaxies/ ]

      As a comparison, if you look up dark matter observations listed in Wikipedia, it has long been at 45 sigma confidence. But now dark energy is catching up, as we get more data.

  4. Howard Jeffrey Bender | May 11, 2021 at 3:45 pm | Reply

    Now a new type of Dark Energy? Another way to explain Dark Energy is suggested by String Theory. All matter and energy, including photons (light), have vibrating strings as their basis.

    String and anti-string pairs are speculated to be created in the quantum foam, a roiling energy field suggested by quantum mechanics, and they immediately annihilate each other. If light passes near these string/anti-string annihilations, perhaps some of that annihilation energy is absorbed by the string in the light. Then the Fraunhofer lines in that light will move a bit towards the blue and away from the red shift. As this continues in an expanding universe we get the same curve displayed by Perlmutter and colleagues at their Nobel Prize lecture, without the need for any kind of Dark Energy.

    This speculation has the universe behaving in a much more direct way. Specifics can be found in my YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b6t0jO7IgQ

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:18 pm | Reply

      Dark energy observation alone has 11 sigma confidence – it doesn’t need theory for that.

      String theory has observationally 0 sigma confidence.

  5. BibhutibhusanPatel | May 11, 2021 at 5:11 pm | Reply

    Thère is àĺmòst a Thèòry pŕrsent can relate accèĺeratiòn ìn thè èxpasion ŕate to the ìnheŕent èñèŕgy ìn gaĺaxìès.This ŕequìrès inter-gaĺaxy Ģŕavitatiòn is to bè tèstèď with çontinuity.This howèver ìs
    inďipenďènt òf CMB ràďìatìon òr heat ģèñeŕàtèď.

  6. BibhutibhusanPatel | May 11, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Reply

    There is a Theory that rèlates inherent energy of galaxies with acceleration, in rate of expansiòn.This simply needs Gravitation bètween galaxies with time.Hòwever,this methòd is inďepenďentof CMB ŕaďiation or heàt generated,is optiònal.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:19 pm | Reply

      ? Maybe if you give references, it would be eaier to understand.

      But I note that one of the strengths of dark energy (and dark matter) is that thgey show up in all sorts of observations, including the CMB.

  7. BibhutibhusanPatel | May 11, 2021 at 5:51 pm | Reply

    Dark energy pŕoducing heat can solvè the pŕoblem to expĺaìn accèĺeŕation in èxpansion ŕate of gaĺaxìes.But this needs extension to inçlùde mòre possìblè èvènts can occùrèd aĺongwith.

  8. Laszlo Meszaros | May 11, 2021 at 9:52 pm | Reply

    So. if you cannot explain something, then just say” “dark energy” or “dark matter”. Them you’re done.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm | Reply

      ? Those tow are used to explain stuff, so it is the reverse of what you say.

      They are also well tested by observation, so we know some of their properties (or we would have no tests).

  9. Steve Schlich (home) | May 12, 2021 at 12:03 am | Reply

    I’m untrained in Astrophysics, and I have a basic confusion: If galaxies are moving away faster when they are farther away from us in distance (and observably farther back in time), and they are moving away slower when they are closer to us in distance (and closer in time), why doesn’t that argue for the universe’s expansion to be slowing, not speeding up?

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:29 pm | Reply

      You asked the same thing the other day, and I will give you the same answer – maybe you didn’t see it yet.

      The galaxies aren’t moving, space is expanding.

      “Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About The Big Bang

      The Universe we know today, filled with stars and galaxies across the great cosmic abyss, hasn’t been around forever. Despite the fact that there are approximately 2 trillion galaxies visible to us spanning distances of tens of billions of light-years, there’s a limit to how far away we can look. That isn’t because the Universe is finite — in fact, it may well be infinite after all — but because it had a beginning that occurred a finite amount of time ago: the Big Bang.

      The fact that we can look at our Universe today, see it expanding and cooling, and infer our cosmic origins is one of the most profound scientific achievements of the 20th century. The Universe began from a hot, dense, matter-and-radiation filled state some 13.8 billion years ago, and has been expanding, cooling, and gravitating ever since. But the Big Bang itself doesn’t work the way most people think. Here are the top 5 myths that people believe about the Big Bang.

      1.) The Big Bang is the explosion that began our Universe.

      Every time we look out at a distant galaxy in the Universe and try to measure what its light is doing, we see the same pattern emerge: the farther away the galaxy is, the more significantly its light is systematically shifted to longer and longer wavelengths. This redshift that we observe for these objects follows a predictable pattern, with double the distance meaning that the light is shifted by twice as much.

      Distant objects, therefore, appear to be receding away from us. Just as a police car speeding away from you will sound lower-pitched the faster it moves away from you, the greater we measure an object’s distance to be from us, the greater the measured redshift of its light will be. It makes a lot of sense, then, to think that the more distant objects are moving away from us at faster speeds, and that we could trace every galaxy we see today back to a single point in the past: an enormous explosion.

      But this is a total misconception about what the Big Bang actually is. It isn’t that these galaxies are moving through the Universe itself, but rather that the fabric of space that makes up the Universe itself is expanding. Just as raisins appear to recede in proportion to their distance in a leavening ball of dough, the galaxies appear to recede from one another as the Universe expands. The raisins aren’t in motion relative to the dough; the action of the expanding dough itself simply appears to drive them apart.

      It wasn’t an initial explosion that causes galaxies to move away from one another, but rather the physics of the expanding Universe as governed by Einstein’s General Relativity that causes space (with galaxies contain within it) to expand. There was no explosion, just a rapid expansion that has been evolving based on the cumulative gravitational effects of everything contained within our Universe.”

      [ https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2020/02/06/the-top-5-myths-you-probably-believe-about-the-big-bang/?sh=1ebafa002694 ]

      You may also have use of the rest of the text, especially myth 2 explains more of what people typically think is happening when they say stars or galaxies move, but isn’t.

      • Stephen Schlich | June 9, 2021 at 5:17 pm | Reply

        Thank you for your answer! Indeed, I did not see you initial reply. The raisins-in-dough is good, but even the raisins become farther apart from each other, whether or not one calls that “motion.”

        But the 5 myths article does not answer my question, which is about that “motion.” The speed with which the elements of the Universe are separating from each other, appears to be faster when we look farther back in time (objects farther away) and slower when we look at relatively recent time (objects closer to us).

        I think that those observations argue that “the dough” expanded faster when the Universe was young and is expanding slower now, when the Universe is older. But trained astrophysicists say the opposite, and I don’t get why. I wish that the 5 myths articles had addressed that, but it didn’t.

  10. Andrew Fortune | May 12, 2021 at 12:09 am | Reply

    Looks like epicycles to me.

  11. mickey lawson | May 12, 2021 at 2:48 am | Reply

    Check out, “www.darkenergyuniverse.com”, for explanation of dark energy, and dark-matter.

  12. “This is getting out of hand! Now there are two of them!”

    Seriously when you’re introducing a SECOND even theoretically unmeasurable thing that will magically make your calculations work, maybe it’s time to stop.

    MOND has been treated like the flat earth society of cosmology for absolutely no reason, despite mounting evidence that the cosmological standard model is wrong.

    Within recent years
    -The cosmological distance ladder was proven to rely on some false assumptions calling into question all measurements relying on redshift data
    -MOdified Newtonian Dynamics was able to explain data that Dark Energy wasn’t
    -The inflationary phase of the early universe was called into question, so much so that
    -Even the big bang origin of the universe was questioned by some
    -The topology of the universe as flat was called into question
    -Measurements have produced irreconciliable results with tiny errorbars for the standard model
    -Hyperstructures larger than what is permitted by the standard model have been found
    -Even larger scale anisotropies were also found pulling into question the basic isotropy hypothesis of cosmology
    -All while astrophysics in general still works with signal to noise ratios that would make even biologists blush.

    And what’s the answer from cosmologists?
    “Well we already have 70% of the universe made up of something we can’t ever detect, but dude trust me it’s there, because it makes my calculations work. (20% more is stuff we may actually be able to measure sometime! …maybe) Sooo let’s just say there is one more type of thing out there whose only effect on the universe is making my calculations work.”

    Maybe it’s time for a paradigm shift instead of getting ever more ridiculous in the church of dark energy.

    Micro black holes weren’t a good dark matter candidate, but maaaybe the new nuclear physics model people are excited about will help with the issue of dark matter. Maybe.

    But with dark energy you’re the schoolkid who arrived at the wrong result in math class and just wrote “+X” in the last line when he glimpsed that the actual result was something else.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:34 pm | Reply

      How can something be “theoretically unobservable”?

      But as it happens, both are observed to high confidence – “as close to certainty as we can get” – see my response to Gayland Andrew Machala.

  13. Baryonic matter makes 5% of visible matter not 20

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:35 pm | Reply

      Baryonic matter makes up 5 % of the universe energy content, 20 % of the matter content and 100 % of the visible (electromagnetism interacting) matter content.

  14. Modern astrophysics: make up something and modify it until the equations work.

    No thanks.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:36 pm | Reply

      Modern pop science: make up something about science and never modify it no matter what we find.

      No thanks.

  15. … Where is the Priest, please…, flavourZ…

  16. Torbjörn Larsson | May 12, 2021 at 1:08 pm | Reply

    The article is typed up as an account of the big bang theory before inflation was discovered.

    “An inflating Universe doesn’t begin in a singularity like a matter-dominated or radiation-dominated Universe does. All we can state with certainty is that the state we call the hot Big Bang only came about after the end of inflation. It says nothing about inflation’s origins.”

    “Inflation came first, and its end heralded the arrival of the Big Bang. There are still those who disagree, but they’re now nearly a full 40 years out of date. ”

    [“What Came First: Inflation Or The Big Bang?”, Forbes].

    As for the last remaining tension in the current csomology, of expansion rate, one or several of the various methods can be wrong. But if the expansion rate is high and a mechanism is responsible, we now know no new physics is needed – it may suffice with explaining the intergalactic magnetic fields.

    ” Their calculations indicated that, indeed, the amount of primordial magnetism needed to address the Hubble tension also agrees with the blazar observations and the estimated size of initial fields needed to grow the enormous magnetic fields spanning galaxy clusters and filaments. “So it all sort of comes together,” Pogosian said, “if this turns out to be right.””

    [ https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-hidden-magnetic-universe-begins-to-come-into-view-20200702/ ]

  17. I wonder if the missing matter/energy might be the by-product of anti-matter and matter colliding after the Big Bang, which would have resulted in a massive release of energy but wiped out all trace of the matter. If so, the sliver of matter left over now is just the small fraction of matter not destroyed but the massive amount of energy released would remain and have an expansionary effect. Basing the universe’s mass entirely on the mass now visible just seems wrong due to anti-matter and the horizon effect of what is visible caused by the expansion itself.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 13, 2021 at 12:28 pm | Reply

      No, there is no additional energy beyond the cosmic background photons that result from that annihilation and match the matter excess. That is why cosmologists are looking elsewhere.

  18. Doesn't matter | May 12, 2021 at 2:03 pm | Reply

    Do you’ll just make crap up as you go along? The universe never started from a bang like you keep telling everyone. The universe never started at all. Its always been here. Its an infinite loop. Its not expanding, its rotating through nothingness just like our galaxy and solarsystems do.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 13, 2021 at 12:37 pm | Reply

      No, obviously they are not making it up ad hoc – even though science is self correcting it is based on previous finds. And that “starts with a bang” is not what most cosmologists say.

      Astrophysicist explaining the real meaning of the big bang as a moment in time:

      “The Universe we know today, filled with stars and galaxies across the great cosmic abyss, hasn’t been around forever. Despite the fact that there are approximately 2 trillion galaxies visible to us spanning distances of tens of billions of light-years, there’s a limit to how far away we can look. That isn’t because the Universe is finite — in fact, it may well be infinite after all — but because it had a beginning that occurred a finite amount of time ago: the Big Bang.

      The Universe we know today, filled with stars and galaxies across the great cosmic abyss, hasn’t been around forever. Despite the fact that there are approximately 2 trillion galaxies visible to us spanning distances of tens of billions of light-years, there’s a limit to how far away we can look. That isn’t because the Universe is finite — in fact, it may well be infinite after all — but because it had a beginning that occurred a finite amount of time ago: the Big Bang.

      The fact that we can look at our Universe today, see it expanding and cooling, and infer our cosmic origins is one of the most profound scientific achievements of the 20th century. The Universe began from a hot, dense, matter-and-radiation filled state some 13.8 billion years ago, and has been expanding, cooling, and gravitating ever since. But the Big Bang itself doesn’t work the way most people think. Here are the top 5 myths that people believe about the Big Bang.”

      [“Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About The Big Bang”, Forbes]

      Same author explaining that the hot big bang was not the beginning of the inflationary hot big bang cosmology:

      “Among most people who study the early Universe, inflation is accepted as the new consensus theory. We might not know everything there is to know about inflation, but either it — or something so similar to it that we don’t have an observation to tell them apart — must have happened.

      With all that said, what does that mean for our cosmic origins? From a timeline perspective, what comes first: the Big Bang or inflation?”

      “An inflating Universe doesn’t begin in a singularity like a matter-dominated or radiation-dominated Universe does. All we can state with certainty is that the state we call the hot Big Bang only came about after the end of inflation. It says nothing about inflation’s origins.”

      “Inflation came first, and its end heralded the arrival of the Big Bang. There are still those who disagree, but they’re now nearly a full 40 years out of date. ”

      [ https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/2021/05/12/best-portable-chargers/?sh=3b9a1887193f ]

  19. AlternativeDepth | May 12, 2021 at 4:06 pm | Reply

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Show me some dark matter and some dark energy. Otherwise I think you need to go back to the drawing board bc we are missing something big about the universe.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 13, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Reply

      See it for yourself:

      “The three peaks are key: they will tell us exactly what the contents of the universe are!

      The first peak contains information about the total amount of stuff in the universe: ordinary matter, dark matter, photons, neutrinos, dark energy, and anything else we might not yet know about. The size and location of the peak is related to the geometry of the universe: how “flat” it is. Note that this peak covers areas of the sky much larger than the temperature fluctuations we’re seeing (the Sun is 0.5° on the sky!), so it’s not produced by sound waves in the early universe, but by the total energy driving expansion.
      The second peak is the sound waves, and tells us exactly how much ordinary matter there is in the universe.
      The third peak takes into account both the ordinary and dark matter. Combining this with the second peak therefore gives us the amount of dark matter.
      So now we have it: by taking the three peaks together, we have the total amount of matter, the total amount of ordinary matter, and all the stuff together. Combining this data in different ways gives us the amount of dark matter (peaks 2 and 3) and dark energy (peaks 1 and 3).”

      [ https://galileospendulum.org/2012/02/17/the-genome-of-the-universe/ ]

  20. The expansion is stretching the fabric of the universe which is creating energy.. This energy that is created is a part of everything maybe a plasma of some sort. Some parts are stronger look at it as a river some places are calm and others are turning like whirlpools.It is all consuming at times and at other times weak and thin.

  21. The universe is expanding because of plain old apple falling on your head gravity. The source of the gravity is beyond our event horizon. Duh!

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 13, 2021 at 12:43 pm | Reply

      If it is beyond the event horizon it is by definition not affecting our observable universe (apart from cosmic variance – but we know that is homogeneous and isotropic thanks to the cosmic background radiation is such).

  22. … remember that one “flavourZ” , yeah I didn’t think so…

  23. You start with an assumption. A few hundred years ago it was assumed the earth was the center of the universe.
    Einstein’s E=MC2 Was based on Newtonian physics, well before electrical and magnetic effects on plasma had become mainstream.

  24. Abed Peerally | July 23, 2021 at 7:16 am | Reply

    As expected articles on dark energy and dark matter are often very interesting particularly since I will provide a comprehensive explanation of what afas they ultimately are. These artickes like the present one goes neatly around the ultimate nature of the universe, as described in my coming second book.

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