If this finding is upheld, it could have a significant impact on models of the universe
The elusive, thought to make up 68 per cent of the universe, may not exist at all, scientists have claimed.
They believe that standard models of the universe fail to take account of its changing structure, but that once this is done the need for dark energy disappears.
From the 1920s, mapping the velocities of galaxies led scientists to conclude that the whole universe is expanding, and that it began life as a vanishingly small point.
In the second half of the twentieth century, astronomers found evidence for unseen ‘dark’ matter by observing that something extra was needed to explain the motion of stars within galaxies.
Dark matter is now thought to make up 27 per cent of the content of universe (in contrast ‘ordinary’ matter amounts to only five per cent).
Observations of the explosions of white dwarf stars in binary systems in the 1990s led scientists to the conclusion that a third component, dark energy, made up 68 per cent of the cosmos, and is responsible for driving an acceleration in the expansion of the universe.
In the new work, researchers led by PhD student Gabor Racz of Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary, question the existence of dark energy and suggest an alternative explanation. ()
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