dark energy

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Coined by American cosmologist Michael Turner in 1998, in reference to the earlier term dark matter.


dark energy (uncountable)

  1. (astronomy, astrophysics) A hypothetical form of energy which, it is supposed, is spread uniformly throughout space (and time) and has anti-gravitational properties: it represents a possible mechanism for the cosmological constant, and thus is one of the possible explanations for the current accelerating rate of expansion of the universe; and it is estimated to account for about 74% of the mass-energy of the universe.
    • 2011 May 20, “After study of 240,000 galaxies, dark energy comes to light”, in The Australian:
      Even Albert Einstein, who first proposed it as the Cosmological Constant in his 1916 General Theory of Relativity, doubted dark energy existed. He called it his "greatest blunder". Now, after a five-year survey of nearly 240,000 galaxies reflecting eight billion years of cosmic history, a team of astrophysicists has shown the elusive force exists. The data were obtained using the Anglo-Australian Telescope, and 26 scientists contributed to the so-called WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey.

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