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The evidence for dark energy is indirect but comes from three independent sources:
* Distance measurements and their relation to redshift, which suggest the universe has expanded more in the last half of its life.
* The theoretical need for a type of additional energy that is not matter or dark matter to form the observationally flat universe (absence of any detectable global curvature).
* It can be inferred from measures of large scale wave-patterns of mass density in the universe.
Just wanted to offer up this vid that goes into what is known as the constants that turn out to not really be constant
originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
a reply to: ChaoticOrder
But if this was presented at conference you'd instigate a brawl.
But Brian Schmidt and co proved that the universe is expanding at a faster rate so it's only natural for astrophysicists to include a variable such as dark energy, and those variables are only speculative at this point in time and have many interpretations.
I know it's a very complicate and controversial subject but the speaker does bring up some good points
Did gravity, the force that pins us to Earth's surface and holds stars together, just shift? Maybe, just maybe. The latest measurement of G, the so-called constant that puts a figure on the gravitational attraction between two objects, has come up higher than the current official value.
Measurements of G are notoriously unreliable, so the constant is in permanent flux and the official value is an average. However, the recent deviation is particularly puzzling, as it is at once starkly different to the official value and yet very similar to a measurement made back in 2001, not what you would expect if the discrepancy was due to random experimental errors.
It's possible that both experiments suffer from a hidden, persistent error, but the result is also prompting serious consideration of a weirder possibility: that G itself can change. That's a pretty radical option, but if correct, it would take us a step closer to tackling one very big mystery – dark energy, the unknown entity accelerating the expansion of the universe.
Str ength of gravity shifts – and this time it's serious
The reason that the universe is thought to be Euclidean has to do with the data collected. The measurements that have been made, if accurate, suggest that the curvature is very close to zero, meaning the universe is flat. This is what I meant when I said that Euclidean space meant being close to zero, as the curvature is close enough to zero to be interpreted as being flat, although ideally zero would equal flat. It is close enough basically, but this relates to the local geometry. If you consider a balloon that is blown up, obviously it has curvature. But if you could blow that balloon up to the size of the universe, and then plop yourself down on it, everything would look flat to you.
Although the shape of the universe is still a matter of debate in physical cosmology, based on the recent Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) measurements "We now know that the universe is flat with only a 0.4% margin of error", according to NASA scientists.
The model most theorists currently use is the so-called Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker (FLRW) model. According to cosmologists, on this model the observational data best fit with the conclusion that the shape of the universe is infinite and flat