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November 10, 2011

Universe Expanding more rapidly than we thought

Earlier this month, three U.S. scientists won a nobel prize for discovering that the universe is actually expanding more rapidly as time passes, rather than expanding slowly. The 'old' idea was that the pull of gravity between galaxies and matter was slowing the expansion, when in fact it seems that a newly discovered force, or "dark energy" is actually pushing the universe outward faster. Whatever the dark energy is, it seems to be even more powerful than gravity, and it seems that a lot of new research is going to be conducted to figure out exactly what that energy is. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/04/us-nobel-physics-idUSTRE7931ET20111004

Posted by drdod at November 10, 2011 08:59 AM

Comments

What is just as interesting is the question they bring up about whether or not the universe will continue to expand or expand to a certain point and then collapse again to an infinitely small point. It's all a little crazy to wrap my head around but I don't really see the universe expanding and then collapsing again all the way. Perhaps it fluctuates or something but I guess only many more billions of years will reveal the answer.

Posted by: dustont at November 10, 2011 04:33 PM

This seems to be one of the most significant discoveries in physics in terms of the entire universe. The concept of an expanding universe constantly accelerating outwards seems to challenge other physic's laws. Perhaps there is a perfect explanation to this hypothesis, but it seems debatable that this idea of "dark energy" will be close to understood within the next 10 to 15 years.

Posted by: isaakg at November 11, 2011 12:40 AM

I was under the impression that the rate of expansion of the universe was already at the speed of light, how is it possible that the universe is expanding faster than that?

Posted by: jeffsong at November 11, 2011 04:03 PM

It seems incredible to me that we can even calculate how fast such our universe is expanding since it is so huge.

Posted by: ouellbre at November 12, 2011 05:00 PM

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