The end of dark energy? A new study suggests that the expansion of the universe does not depend on dark energy

A study suggests that dark energy is not necessary to explain observations of the expansion of the universe.
Roberta Duarte

Roberta Duarte Meteored Brazil 05/21/2024 12:05 6 min

One of the greatest quests of astronomers is to understand the component called dark energy. This component of the universe would be associated with the accelerated expansion of space-time. Most of the universe would be in the form of dark energy while the other part would be divided between dark matter and visible matter.

The idea of dark energy arose from Hubble telescope observations at the end of the 20th century, when data showed that the universe was expanding rapidly. In this way, at Einstein’s General Relativity another term called cosmological constant. This constant had been previously proposed by Albert Einstein himself but he himself discarded it.

Artificial intelligence can solve the mystery about energy and dark matter

Artificial intelligence can solve the mystery about energy and dark matter

A new article published in The Astrophysical Journal says that the expansion of the universe would not accelerate and could be described linearly. In this way, dark energy would not be necessary to explain the observations. Furthermore, the study maintains that general relativity would only apply to local scales and not to cosmic scales.

Expansion of the universe

The astronomer Edwin Hubble concluded that the universe was expanding through observations of distant galaxies. A few decades later, observations obtained by the Hubble telescope showed that the universe was expanding rapidly. These were two of the greatest discoveries in astronomy of all time.

The description of space-time is obtained through Einstein’s General Relativity equations that show how the structure of space-time is modified by the presence of mass or energy.

To explain accelerated expansion, a modification was made to Einstein’s equations adding the cosmological constant. Initially, Einstein had proposed the cosmological constant, but soon discarded it when Edwin Hubble made observations of it. The cosmological constant is associated with the amount of dark energy and the expansion rate of the universe.

Hubble voltage

Since the discovery of accelerated expansion, astronomers around the world have dedicated themselves to calculate expansion rate through observations. Various methods were used, such as microwave or infrared observations. However, each technique arrived at a different value for the expansion rate of the universe. This problem became known as the Hubble tension.

youtube video id=XydJeRm0tlU

Using distances from type Ia supernovae, the value found reached 73 km/s/Mpc. Techniques using microwave observations with the Planck telescope achieved a result of 67 km/s/Mpc. Although the values ​​vary on an average of 70 km/s/Mpc, they do not converge to the same value and this affects the theoretical predictions of the models.

Measurement problem

In 2023, a study led by physicist Robert Monjo argued that the problem lay in the techniques used and the difference in measurements. The reason would be that by taking into account the geometric properties of the equations that describe space-time, the calculated expansion rate would not be a real physical magnitude.

The reference used to perform the measurement along with the chosen technique would affect the observation. In this way, acceleration would be an illusion created by our view of the universe and would not be something real in nature. Other works also follow this approach by considering that our location in the universe affects measurements.

No need for dark energy

In a new work by Monjo, the physicist maintains that The insertion of dark energy is not necessary to explain the expansion of the universe. It is important to remember that dark energy would be the component responsible for the acceleration. The article concludes that the expansion can be described linearly, without the need for acceleration.

Researchers may have found a new law about the evolution of everything in the Universe

Researchers may have found a new law about the evolution of everything in the Universe

The idea would be to modify the coordinates and reference used when making the observations. The results would explain the Hubble strain and rule out the need for both dark energy and dark matter. Since in the case of dark matter, Einstein’s equations would be sufficient to explain the gravitational effects.

Is the mystery over?

It’s still too early to say that we are close to understanding the universe as a whole and answering key questions about dark matter and energy. More observations will be made with increasingly precise telescopes to find the answers to these problems.


News reference:
Monjo 2024 What if the Universe Expands Linearly? A Local General Relativity to Solve the “Zero Active Mass” Problem The Astrophysical Journal

 
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