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The cosmological constant may not be constant, after all

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More precisely, dark energy, an undefined force regarded as the embodiment of the cosmological constant in models describing the expanding universe, may in fact be dynamic: exhibiting varying energy states over time.

The standard current model of the cosmos is known as the Lambda Cold Dark Matter model, in which dark energy is represented by the “Lambda” bit.

In the equations, dark energy is assigned an “Energy of state” of a constant minus one, which means it contributes a fixed amount of expansionary pressure throughout the universe.

The results imply that dark energy is dynamical, and therefore not constant.

In their paper, Zhao and his colleagues are quick to state that at present there is not enough data in existence to favour a dynamical dark energy model over the standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter model.

The paper concludes, the new calculations revealing dark energy as an inconstant candidate for the cosmological constant work “If the current best-fit dark energy happened to be the true model.”

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Survey, which will be conducted by the Mayall 4-m telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona, will vastly increase the amount of information on dark energy available.


Article originally posted at

Post Author: Kate Lunau

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