Research Sheds New Light on Dark Energy


The detailed, all-sky picture of the Cosmic Microwave Background in the infant universe reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team

Dartmouth researchers shed new light on dark energy and eliminate the possibility that our planet, solar system and galaxy are at the center of the universe.

In a new study, Dartmouth researchers rule out a controversial theory that the accelerating expansion of the universe is an illusion.

While the findings don’t explain the cosmic speed-up, they eliminate one provocative possibility that our planet, solar system and galaxy are at the center of the universe and that there is no dark energy. The findings appear in the journal Physical Review D.

The 2011 Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. One leading idea to explain the acceleration is a new, mysterious substance called dark energy, which is thought to make up nearly three-fourths of the energy of the universe. But another alternative is that the Earth, our solar system and Milky Way galaxy are at the center of the universe. That theory violates the standard assumption that the universe has no center, but if true, then cosmic acceleration could be explained without dark energy or any new laws of physics.

But Dartmouth researchers found that this model can’t hold up to other observational tests. The sky glows with light left over from the Big Bang, also known as the Cosmic Microwave Background, so they calculated how that glow would be affected. Their findings show that the model’s prediction is completely contrary to the glow that has been measured.

“Essentially, we held a mirror up to the universe and asked if the reflection was special,” says Robert Caldwell, a professor of physics and astronomy who co-wrote the article with undergraduate physics major Nina Maksimova. “The reflection shows that we do not appear to live in a special location, and decisively excludes this explanation for the universe’s accelerating expansion. It would be a great relief to be able to understand a basic problem of cosmology within the known laws of physics, but our research is an important step in explaining the physics responsible for the cosmic acceleration.”

Publication: R. R. Caldwell and N. A. Maksimova, “Spectral distortion in a radially inhomogeneous cosmology,” Phys. Rev. D 88, 103502 (2013), doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.88.103502

PDF Copy of the Study: Spectral Distortion in a Radially Inhomogeneous Cosmology

Source: Dartmouth College

Image: NASA/WMAP Science Team

3 Comments on "Research Sheds New Light on Dark Energy"

  1. Wardell Lindsay | November 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply

    The dark energy is hidden in plain sight, cP, the Momentum energy associated with every spec of matter in the universe.

    In spite of the Nobel Prize, the Unverse is NOT Expanding or accelerating its expansion. The redshift data is misunderstood by physcists.

    Here is an explanation of the redshift data and teh universe. The redshift is an indicator of the Continuity Condition, where the centrifugal and centripetal forces are equal,
    d(-mGM/r)/dr = cDEL.P
    mGM/r2 = cp/r cos(P)
    vp/r= cp/r cos(P)
    v/c=cos(P) the redshift denotes the aangle of the Momentum Energy cP of the body!

    The Earth’s redshift is 29814/300M= 99.38E-6 or angle 89 degree 59′ 39.5″

  2. Madanagopal.V.C | November 8, 2013 at 4:24 am | Reply

    Hello Wardell! By your argument of a cylindrical universe as against its expansion model of a paraboloid, all the galaxies should have been uniform according to its age and it will be confined to a cylindrical universe in a uniform density in every segmental arc of space in the Universe. But actually it is otherwise and spread in all the directions at different light year distances . Moreover, your equating physical momentum P to the momentum of a wave signifies that you are dragging unnecessarily De- Broglie’s matter waves for the equation. But do you know that De Broglie’s wave length is ultra small and not detectable,not even for an electron (considered as mass particle).This property only is made use of in electron microscope to scatter waves in cell organelles and their structures. Bigger the mass, the wavelength will be still ultra, ultra short and becomes completely not detectable. But, this red shift and Micro Wave Backround of the Universe is purely in the spectrum of visible and measurable range, owing to the actual velocity of the physical masses of galaxies purely physical..physical..and physical. Thank You.

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