In this series of posts I will explain the fundamental nature of dark matter, dark energy and their relationship to the accelerating universe. Much of what I will discuss comes from my original research delineated in my book, Unraveling the Universe’s Mysteries (2012). However, this article (i.e., the series of posts taken as a whole) will go beyond what was explained in the book and provides for the first time, to my knowledge, a comprehensive theory of the aforementioned phenomena.

Let us start by understanding the phenomenon we are going to explain, namely the accelerated expansion of the universe.

Mainstream science widely accepts the Big Bang as giving birth to our universe. Scientists knew from Hubble’s discovery in 1929 that the universe was expanding. However, prior to 1998, scientific wisdom was that the expansion of the universe would gradually slow down, due to the force of gravity. We were so sure, so we decided to confirm our theory by measuring it. Can you imagine our reaction when our first measurement did not confirm our paradigm, namely that the expansion of the universe should be slowing down?

What happened in 1998? The High-z Supernova Search Team (an international cosmology collaboration) published a paper that shocked the scientific community. The paper was: Adam G. Riess et al. (Supernova Search Team) (1998). “Observational evidence from supernovae for an accelerating universe and a cosmological constant.” Astronomical J. 116 (3). They reported that the universe was doing the unthinkable. The expansion of the universe was not slowing down—in fact, it was accelerating. Of course, this caused a significant ripple in the scientific community. Scientists went back to Einstein’s general theory of relativity and resurrected the “cosmological constant,” which Einstein had arbitrarily added to his equations to prove the universe was eternal and not expanding. Previous chapters noted that Einstein considered the cosmological constant his “greatest blunder” when Edwin Hubble, in 1929, proved the universe was expanding.

Through high school-level mathematical manipulation, scientists moved Einstein’s cosmological constant from one side of the equation to the other. With this change, the cosmological constant no longer acted to keep expansion in balance to result in a static universe. In this new formulation, Einstein’s “greatest blunder,” the cosmological constant, mathematically models the acceleration of the universe. Mathematically this may work, and model the accelerated expansion of the universe. However, it does not give us insight into what is causing the expansion.

The one thing that you need to know is that almost all scientists hold the paradigm of “cause and effect.” If it happens, something is causing it to happen. Things do not simply happen. They have a cause. That means every bubble in the ocean has a cause. It would be a fool’s errand to attempt to find the cause for each bubble. Yet, I believe, as do almost all of my colleagues, each bubble has a cause. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to believe something is countering the force of gravity, and causing the expansion to accelerate. What is it? No one knows. Science calls it “dark energy.”

That is the state of science as we know it today. The universe’s expansion is accelerating. No one knows why. Scientists reason there must be a cause countering the pull of gravity. They name that cause “dark energy.” Scientists mathematically manipulate Einstein’s self-admitted “greatest blunder,” the “cosmological constant,” to model the accelerated expansion of the universe.

The accelerated expansion of the universe suggests, in time, we will be entirely alone in the galaxy. The accelerated expansion of space will cause all other galaxies to move beyond our cosmological horizon. When this happens, our universe will consist of the Milky Way. The Milky Way galaxy will continue to exist, but as far out as our best telescopes will be able to observe, no other galaxies will be visible to us. What they taught our grandparents will have come true. The universe will be the Milky Way and nothing else. All evidence of the Big Bang will be gone. All evidence of dark energy will be gone. Space will grow colder, almost devoid of all heat, as the rest of the universe moves beyond our cosmological horizon. The entire Milky Way galaxy will grow cold. Our planet, if it still exists, will end in ice.

There are currently two principal schools of thought regarding the theory of dark energy. I already mentioned the “cosmological constant” group. The second is “quintessence.”

The quintessence model attributes the universe’s acceleration to a fifth fundamental force that changes over time. The quintessence school of thought has its own equation. It differs from the cosmological constant equation by allowing the equation itself to change over time. In brief, the cosmological constant is a constant, and does not vary with time. The quintessence equation varies with time.

In my opinion, neither theory (i.e., schools of thought) explains the nature of the accelerated expansion. The theories simply mathematically model the accelerated expansion.

Here is another important piece of the puzzle. From confirmed observation, entire galaxies are moving away from us faster than the speed of light. The more distant the galaxy, the faster it is accelerating away from us. However, here is another piece of the puzzle. The galaxies themselves are not expanding. This is a scientific fact. Our Milky Way galaxy is behaving exactly as we would expect, with no expansion of the space between stars within the galaxy. The question becomes why. Is space between stars equal to space between galaxies? No, it is not. The space between stars and other celestial bodies within our galaxy appears glued together with dark matter. Dark matter does not exist between galaxies. Gravitational attraction exists between galaxies, but no dark matter connects one galaxy to another.

In the next post, we will understand more about the nature of dark matter and the role it plays in this new theory of the accelerating universe.

Source: Unraveling the Universe’s Mysteries (2012), Louis A. Del Monte