Dark Energy: Taking Over the Universe

by Tatiana Burns

In the early 1900’s, we thought the universe stood still. However, that changed later on in the century. Now we believe that the universe is expanding rapidly its movement is called Dark Energy. Dark energy takes up about 68% of the universe, Dark matter takes up about 27% of the universe, and the other percent is the “normal” stuff. However, how is it we didn’t catch this in the early part of the century?

Albert Einstein had an equation to explain how and why the universe stood still. His equations came up with the idea that we lived in a static universe. However, there was a part that didn’t add up. Einstein called this part the fudge factor. Subsequently in 1929, Edwin Hubble realized that universe was actually expanding. Now Einstein’s equation was actually making some sense. The “fudge factor” was the universe expanding; however, when Einstein came up with the equation there was no evidence for the movement so Einstein just called it the fudge factor.

After Hubble realized the universe was expanding, it changed the way we viewed the entire universe. Then in 1998, two astrophysicists added more to this continuous discovery. The universe was actually expanding at an accelerating pace. So, not only were we wrong about  a static universe, or a universe that stood still, we were also wrong about how the universe was expanding. When Hubble first realized the universe was expanding, he believed the universe was expanding at a steady pace.

However, the question still remains, what happens to the universe if it expands to the furthest it can go? Does the universe break apart? Will that be the end for us? If the universe expands too much, will it slowly build itself back together? These are the questions scientist are yet to figure out the answers to, but sooner or later we will find out the answers.



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