Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nothing seems to be Something

A consensus that the universe might continue expanding forever rather than follow a cyclical expand/contract routine as originally assumed is slowly emerging...
From here: Cosmologists once believed that the universe would expand for a while from the Big Bang explosion about 13 billion years ago, reach a critical point and then contract back to a tiny point. But measurements suggested that something else was going on -- something was acting like a spring to push galaxies apart. This something has been named dark energy
Even nothing -- empty space -- weighs something, and because we have a lot of nothing, it is a major factor in the evolution of our universe and causes space itself to accelerate - says David Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton University...
If dark energy is explained by the cosmological constant, the expansion of the universe will continue to accelerate and our own Milky Way and next-door Andromeda will drift away from the next-nearest galaxies in the Virgo cluster.

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