[Marxism] Fwd: Explainer: the mysterious dark energy that speeds the universe's rate of expansion
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 24 05:51:48 MDT 2015
The nature of dark energy is one of the most important unsolved problems
in all of science. But what, exactly, is dark energy, and why do we even
believe that it exists?
Step back a minute and consider a more familiar experience: what happens
when you toss a ball straight up into the air? It gradually slows down
as gravity tugs on it, finally stopping in mid-air and falling back to
the ground. Of course, if you threw the ball hard enough (about 25,000
miles per hour) it would actually escape from the Earth entirely and
shoot into space, never to return. But even in that case, gravity would
continue to pull feebly on the ball, slowing its speed as it escaped the
clutches of the Earth.
But now imagine something completely different. Suppose that you tossed
a ball into the air, and instead of being attracted back to the ground,
the ball was repelled by the Earth and blasted faster and faster into
the sky. This would be an astonishing event, but it’s exactly what
astronomers have observed happening to the entire universe!
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