New Research Reveals Ominous Future for Universe

Posted November 3rd, 2014 at 6:59 pm (UTC-4)

Data provided by Sloan Digital Sky Survey and others was used to study the nature of dark energy. (Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

Data provided by Sloan Digital Sky Survey and others was used to study the nature of dark energy. (Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

A team of British and Italian scientists recently conducted research that suggests an ominous future for the universe.

In a paper just published by the journal Physical Review Letters, the scientists said a review of new astronomical data found that dark energy (a theoretical form of energy that cosmologists believe is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe) is increasing as it feeds off dark matter (a hypothetical form of matter that is invisible to electromagnetic radiation).

This increase in dark energy at the expense of dark matter, according to the team’s research, appears to be slowing the growth of structures such as galaxies and galaxy clusters in the universe.

“This study is about the fundamental properties of space-time. On a cosmic scale, this is about our universe and its fate,” said Professor David Wands, Director of the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, and a member of the research team in a University press release.  “If the dark energy is growing and dark matter is evaporating we will end up with a big, empty, boring universe with almost nothing in it.”

According to Wands, dark matter supplies the basis or a type of scaffolding for various cosmological structures to grow in the universe.  So if indeed dark energy is consuming the dark matter, as their research indicates, the disappearance of this material is slowing down the growth of such structures in the universe.

Italian research students Valentina Salvatelli and Najla Said (University of Portsmouth)

Italian research students Valentina Salvatelli and Najla Said (University of Portsmouth)

Along with Wands, the research team also included his University of Portsmouth colleague Dr. Marco Bruni, Professor Alessandro Melchiorri and researchers Valentina Salvatelli and Najla Said from the Sapienza University of Rome.

To reach their findings, the team studied and analyzed the data from a number of astronomical surveys, which included the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.  With the extensive data sets, they were able to study the growth of cosmological structures that the astronomical data from the surveys revealed, so they could test various models of dark energy that had been developed.

U.S. scientists Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess along with Brian Schmidt of Australia shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for finding evidence that the Universe is not only expanding, but is doing so at an increasingly accelerated speed.

Riess and Schmidt worked together in the High-z Supernova Search Team, while Perlmutter led the Supernova Cosmology Project. Both teams made their prize winning findings at almost the same time.

Both teams of scientists made their virtually identical findings after studying something called a Type 1a supernovae and noticed that more distant objects appeared to be moving faster.

(Space Telescope Institute)

(Space Telescope Institute)

These findings were said to have shaken the study of cosmology to its roots, according to a number of scientists.

“Since the late 1990s astronomers have been convinced that something is causing the expansion of our Universe to accelerate,” said Wands. “The simplest explanation was that empty space – the vacuum – had an energy density that was a cosmological constant.

Wand went on to say that there is, however, increasing proof that the simple models provided by the research of the 1990’s cannot explain many things scientists are now finding in fresher and more extensive astronomical data that’s being made available, such his team’s findings that found cosmic structures like galaxies and clusters of galaxies seem to be growing slower than expected.

Rick Pantaleo
Rick Pantaleo maintains the Science World blog and writes stories for VOA’s web and radio on a variety of science, technology and health topics. He also occasionally appears on various VOA programs to talk about the latest scientific news. Rick joined VOA in 1992 after a 20 year career in commercial broadcasting.

5 responses to “New Research Reveals Ominous Future for Universe”

  1. Cranksy (USA) says:

    Is this Science World post suggesting the universe is expanding to nothingness?

  2. Pradipta says:

    Nothing is real what appears beyond 150 million kilometers from earth. They are mere images into space mirror. Finding out the truth, the cool and calm study of the theory of space mirror is necessary

    • Faux Planck says:

      I have heard mention of such a construct! They refuse to teach of the space mirror’s possible existence at my college. Because I have had no formal education with the space mirror all I know about it is from personal research. Just to clarify, the assumptions I believe that you have made are below.

      > space mirror is spherical

      > it has a diameter of 60 Gigameters

      Now I must ask you some vital questions to confirm my own findings….

      What is the postion of the sun? ( spherical coordinates). From this earths orbit can be discerned.

      What is the “thickness” of the space mirror?

      In your reasearch are you assuming the “surface” of the space mirror is smooth?

      I look forward to your prompt response.

      • Pradipta says:

        We are living in earth and observing our surrounding, so I do not dispute anything what appearing to us within radius of 150 million kilometers only. When any object moves away from us farther and farther, the object will appears to us smaller and smaller till it completely disappear.
        From earth we are observing everything, so we should consider a question how far distance could we see the illuminated objects within sun light? It appears from earth if an imaginary earth like object moves farther and farther, it become ZERO at 150 million kilometers and suddenly next we meet space mirror and see reflected objects.
        Please read the debate be tween me and Astrophysicist Rhys Taylor (astrophysicist) in the following link you also read the link

      • pradipta says:

        “Faux Planck”

        I see you do not read very well. Or perhaps you are troll?

        You can look forward to the prompt reciept of my boot in your behind.