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Dear Dr B: Where does dark energy come from and what’s it made of?

19 Oct 2016, 08:04 UTC
Dear Dr B: Where does dark energy come from and what’s it made of?
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“As the universe expands and dark energy remains constant (negative pressure) then where does the ever increasing amount of dark energy come from? Is this genuinely creating something from nothing (bit of lay man’s hype here), do conservation laws not apply? Puzzled over this for ages now.”-- pete best “When speaking of the Einstein equation, is it the case that the contribution of dark matter is always included in the stress energy tensor (source term) and that dark energy is included in the cosmological constant term? If so, is this the main reason to distinguish between these two forms of ‘darkness’? I ask because I don’t normally read about dark energy being ‘composed of particles’ in the way dark matter is discussed phenomenologically.”-- CGT Dear Pete, CGT:Dark energy is often portrayed as very mysterious. But when you look at the math, it’s really the simplest aspect of general relativity. Ahead, allow me to clarify that your questions refer to “dark energy” but are specifically about the cosmological constant which is a certain type of dark energy. For all we know, the cosmological constant fits all existing observations. Dark energy could be more complicated than that, but let’s start with the ...

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