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Is dark energy constant to emtpy space?

  1. Sep 17, 2008 #1
    Is dark energy constant to emtpy space??

    i've just been reading about dark energy on a site, and it seems it's quite a riddle at present.

    it stated that the dark energy of space is constant and that the universe is speeding up as the more space produced increases the amount of dark energy, at the same time gravities pull is weakening as denseness is reduced.

    i was wondering is it really constant?? and if so should it not reside in space on the atomic level as well as the cosmological?? and so shouldn't we all become gradualy bigger until the point of the 'big rip'??

    the site was hubble.org, and as informative as it was it's left me confused as most things do these days.

    i know you guys have answers for every questin i've put so far, so i look forward to your replies. lol
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2008 #2


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    Re: Is dark energy constant to emtpy space??

    Dark energy is completely tiny at the local level (vacuum), and only really can be felt on the order of say intergalactic scales and greater. We are talking about many, many orders of magnitude smaller than anything previously measured before in the history of science. In fact its so small, its a huge problem, b/c there is almost nothing we can think off that will give us much detail about the exact dynamics or about how such a small number could possibly arise.

    As for whether its constant or not, or the exact details. Well, the short answer is we don't know exactly. In the standard picture and at least to good approximation it seems that way (hence it appears as a cosmological constant term in Einsteins equations) but the bottomline is its still a huge unknown and no one knows exactly.
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