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Australia ISS Science

Dark Energy Confirmed By Australian WiggleZ Sky Scan 131

Posted by Roblimo
from the peering-deep-into-the-cosmos dept.
Phoghat writes "An Australian team of researchers scanned the sky using WiggleZ Dark Energy survey and found confirming evidence of Dark Energy. Einstein is correct, as so far, usual." Meanwhile, the International Space Station is looking for dark *matter* .
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Dark Energy Confirmed By Australian WiggleZ Sky Scan

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  • by Eggplant Jeff (1859792) on Monday May 23, 2011 @09:38AM (#36216716)
    Seems like TFA is slightly misleading though. They didn't confirm DARK ENERGY, they provided a bunch of data that confirms the universe is expanding AS EXPECTED PER CURRENT THEORY (and current theory uses dark energy to explain). It isn't like they built a dark energy detector and said "Wow, the readings are off the charts!"
  • by mangu (126918) on Monday May 23, 2011 @10:12AM (#36217054)

    They didn't confirm DARK ENERGY, they provided a bunch of data that confirms the universe is expanding AS EXPECTED PER CURRENT THEORY (and current theory uses dark energy to explain).

    You inverted cause and effect. There's no theory for the expansion of the universe by itself, dark energy is a theory that was created to explain the *measured* expansion. The problem with it is that it's ad hoc, dark energy is not predicted by any other effect that we have observed.

    The press release was skimpy on details, but if I got it right it has demonstrated that dark energy is a good fit to the observed distribution of visible mass in the universe.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Monday May 23, 2011 @11:15AM (#36217706)

    Yes. The reason that it was a mistake is that relativity predicts that the universe must be contracting or expanding. Because Einstein thought that the universe was static, instead of actually making the prediction, he added a fudge factor of gravitation repulsion that would keep the universe from collapsing under its own gravity. So he was wrong, because the universe is in fact expanding.

    The reason it was the biggest mistake of his life is that adding gravitational repulsion to gravity produces an unstable equilibrium, so it would not have resulted in a steady state even if he was right. All matter would have had to have been equally distributed across the universe, and any perturbation would have caused local clumps that would collapse under gravity. So he incorrectly added his incorrect fudge factor. He was very, very wrong.

    There's a reason he called it his biggest mistake. He made an obviously wrong prediction instead of correctly predicting the expansion of the universe. The fact that we now detect a repulsive force has nothing to do with Einstein's prediction except that it's also a repulsive force. It's just coincidence.

  • by pclminion (145572) on Monday May 23, 2011 @11:50AM (#36218078)
    Einstein saw it as a huge mistake, but it wasn't. Current evidence suggests that the value of the cosmological constant is not zero, it's some small positive number. If Einstein had not put the cosmological constant in in the first place, we wouldn't have been able to assign a value to it. His blunder was the assumption of a static universe, not a cosmological constant. The cosmological constant was a leap of physical intuition -- it has a value other than Einstein thought it should have, but so what? He was obviously a bit smarter than most of us :-)

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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