Thursday, January 12, 2006

Good Lay Explanation of Dark Energy

In today's Wasington Post there is a story about using gamma ray bursters to measure the expansion rate of the universe. The discovery that the universe was expanding at an acclerating rate was a major discovery in 1999. Since we do not what is pushing the universe apart physicists have taken to calling it "dark energy".

It has kept physicists, cosmologists, and astronomers very busy trying to find new theories to explain the effect and design new experiments to give us more data on the effect. The story is about one new measurement that has just been announced and I will have to do more study to find out if it is a useful new technique, but I was very impressed by the Wasington Post article's explanation of the background to this new result. It was quite clear and correct.

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