Dark Matter and Dark Energy

One of the more peculiar parts of our universe is the presence of a great deal of mass that we cannot see. When looking at the gravitational effects on the mass in the universe, it is apparent that a significant amount of matter must be present but is not visible to us, leading to its subsequent naming, dark matter. The discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe led scientists to believe that gravity must be counteracted in some way. Since the expansion of the universe is not slowing down with time, there must be some source of energy or force present that acts over such great distances. This mysterious fifth type of force was given the name dark energy. Although “dark” is not used in the same way as with dark matter, it is used here to indicate the lack of knowledge regarding the source of this energy and the mystery of how it propagates throughout space.

It has been commonly accepted in the scientific community that observable matter comprises about only 4-5% of the total mass of the universe. Thus, faced with this enormous discrepancy, the idea of invisible mass and a gravity-repelling force were incorporated to make sense of this confusion. Due to the relative modernity of this assertion and our technological limitations, there is little known about the specifics of both dark matter and dark energy. It will be interesting to follow the progression of research on these concepts and how our perceptions of spacetime and the universe change if further discoveries about dark matter/energy are made.

2 thoughts on “Dark Matter and Dark Energy

  1. It is really remarkable to know that as much knowledge as we have gained about the universe in recent years, we don’t understand almost 96% of what makes up the universe. This puts into perspective how much we still need to learn about the universe, but it also makes it exciting to know that there is still much we have waiting to discover! Science always has more to discover and this post shows that the future should hold many exciting breakthroughs.

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  2. That pie chart really makes you think about how small we really are in the grand scheme of things. Everything we know the most about in the universe does not even comprise 5% of it. This combined with the fact that the Universe is constantly expanding and that percentage is getting lower with every second is astounding. I’m not sure that humans will ever be able to fully comprehend the scope of our universe.

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