December 8, 2021

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Phantom energy and dark gravity: Explaining the dark side of the universe

9 min read

What makes the universe behave the way it does? It’s a question scientists have been striving to answer for hundreds of years. From Einstein’s theory of general relativity to dark matter and dark energy, our understanding of the universe has massively expanded. However, as our knowledge expands, these explanations increasingly struggle to be consistent with what we are observing, and so scientists are now looking at new ideas to explain what we see — “dark radiation” and “phantom energy.”

As we continue to observe and study the universe around us using ever-more precise instruments and sophisticated data-processing systems, the findings have invariably proven to be unexpected. Perhaps the most famous of these findings was the gradual realization that everything we can see in the universe — every dust cloud, asteroid field, planet, star, nebula and galaxy cluster — simply doesn’t have sufficient mass to ensure that the universe behaves in the way it clearly does — at least according to the standard model of cosmology, grounded in Einstein’s theory of general relativity. 

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