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Source of dark energy found? “If our theory is confirmed, it will revolutionize the entire cosmology”

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For years, scientists have speculated on the origin of the so-called dark energy, which is one of the elements of the Universe and affects its expansion. According to the latest research by an international group of scientists, its source may be black holes. If the authors’ observations turn out to be true, they may have solved one of the most important mysteries of cosmology.

A group of 17 scientists from nine countries, in the scientific journals “The Astrophysical Journal” and “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” announced the conclusions that are to change the view of evolution outer space and for black holes.

– If our theory is confirmed, it will revolutionize the whole of cosmology. That’s because we will finally have a solution to the dark energy source problem that has baffled cosmologists and theoretical physicists for over 20 years,’ said Dr Chris Pearson of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council.

– These are really surprising conclusions. We started by looking at how black holes grow over time, and we may have found the answer to one of the most important questions in cosmology,’ added Dr Dave Clements of Imperial College London.

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A black hole devouring a star – an artist’s visionNASA, ESA, Leah Hustak (STScI)

Increasingly faster expansion

The matter from which our world is built is only five percent of the content of the Universe. Another 27 percent is dark matter – the equivalent of ordinary matter that does not emit, reflect or absorb light. However, most of the cosmos – about 68 percent – is so-called dark energy. Now scientists have concluded that black holes are its source. The hypothesis is very significant because it is believed that it is dark energy that drives the expansion of the universe.

In the 1990s, researchers explain, it was discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. This was hard to explain because gravity should slow down the expansion. So the concept of dark energy was introduced, which is supposed to work against gravity and overcome it. This is somewhat reminiscent of the concept of the cosmological constant, which, according to Einstein, was supposed to prevent the universe from collapsing. Dark energy is supposed to be a property of space itself, having to do with the so-called vacuum energy.

New observations of giant, supermassive black holes occupying the centers galaxies they just indicate that these objects increase their mass in a way that indicates the accumulation of vacuum energy.

Researchers observed elliptical galaxies that formed early in the history of the universe and then died out. New stars are no longer forming in them, and black holes do not have much material to absorb. The continued growth of these black holes cannot therefore be explained by the mere accumulation of mass from surrounding objects.

Also, comparing the observations of these old galaxies and their young counterparts showed that black holes grow much faster than the falling mass on them would indicate. Today’s black holes are seven to 20 times larger than they were nine million years ago, researchers report.

Black hole Sagittarius A* – located in the center of our Milky WayEHT Collaboration

Two statements

What’s more, observations of black holes existing in different periods of the Universe’s development indicate a strong correlation between their size and the size of the universe. This indicates that the amount of dark energy in the cosmos is related to the amount of vacuum energy stored in black holes.

“We’re actually finding two things at once: there’s evidence that the typical perception of black holes doesn’t work in the long term, and second, we’re proposing the first astrophysical source of dark energy,” said Dr. Duncan Farrah of the University of Hawai. “That’s not to say that others haven’t proposed different sources of dark energy, but this is the first observation-based study that doesn’t add anything new to the universe as that source.” Black holes, combined with Einstein’s theory of gravity, explain the existence of dark energy, the expert added.

Artist’s impression of a black hole at the heart of the M87 galaxy (ESO/M. Kornmesser)ESO/M Cornmesser

Main photo source: ESO/M Cornmesser



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