What Really Happened At the Beginning of Our Universe? And Why Is It Expanding Faster Than Expected?

“A growing mystery about the universe, known as the ‘Hubble Tension,’ is that it appears to be expanding much faster now than predicted even with our latest understanding of its initial conditions and contents.”

Adam Riess, Ph.D.,  Nobel laureate astrophysicist and expert in the Hubble constant, Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute

“Under the influence of dark energy, the cosmos is now doubling in size every 10 billion years. … Is the fate of our universe at stake?”

— Dennis Overbye, Science Reporter, The New York Times

The New York Times, February 25, 2019, by Dennis Overbye and illustration by Brian Stauffer.
The New York Times, February 25, 2019, by Dennis Overbye and illustration by Brian Stauffer.

 


February 28, 2019  Albuquerque, New Mexico – New research by astronomers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, describes our universe as undergoing a strange and sudden influx of something like “early dark energy” from an unknown source only 100,000 years after the “Big Bang.” The unknown energy source, or “phantom energy,”  started pushing our new universe outward faster than it had been expanding before the mysterious energy surge. Nobel laureate astrophysicist and expert in the Hubble constant at Johns Hopkins University is Adam Riess, Ph.D.  He describes the state of confusion in astrophysics this way: “A growing mystery about the universe, known as the ‘Hubble Tension,’ is that it appears to be expanding much faster now than predicted even with our latest understanding of its initial conditions and contents.”

[ Editor’s Note:  The Hubble Tension refers to one detail in the current model for the evolution of the universe that has not been resolved: the rate at which the universe is expanding. Scientists can arrive at the rate of expansion in two different ways, and the two techniques result in slightly different rates.]

Then according to a November 2018 paper published in ArXiv, one hundred thousand years later — whatever that mysterious dark energy was that started the universe expanding faster one hundred thousand years before — just disappeared.  Today, our universe is still expanding about 9% faster than calculations say it should be. This is provoking some physicists at institutions such as Harvard University and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois to announce to the world officially there is a “new physics” emerging about the beginning and puzzling change in our cosmic expansion. One of the questions in the new physics research is:  Could enigmatic dark energy be the answer to that sudden increased speed of the universe’s expansion? And could that dark energy be getting stronger and denser. According to new calculations, our universe is now doubling in size every 10 billion years!

Dartmouth University physicist Robert Caldwell worries this could be “bad news” if the dark phantom energy responsible for the increasing expansion could keep growing without any restraints? If so, could the phantom energy eventually overcome gravity and tear apart first Earth and cosmic matter and then all atoms in the universe? Such an apocalyptic question implies that in this new physics, “the fate of our universe is at stake.”

This map of dark matter in the Universe was obtained from data from the KiDS survey, using the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. It reveals an expansive web of dense (light) and empty (dark) regions. This image is one out of five patches of the sky observed by KiDS. Here the invisible dark matter is seen rendered in pink, covering an area of sky around 400 times the size of the full moon. This image reconstruction was made by analysing the light collected from over 2.5 million distant galaxies more than 6 billion light-years away. The observed galaxy images were warped by the gravitational pull of dark matter as the light travelled through the Universe. Some small dark regions, with sharp boundaries, appear in this image. They are the locations of bright stars and other nearby objects that get in the way of the observations of more distant galaxies and are hence masked out in these maps as no weak-lensing signal can be measured in these areas. Credit: Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/H. Hildebrandt & B. Giblin/ESO
This map of dark matter in the Universe’s region G15 was obtained from data from the KiDS survey, using the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. It reveals an expansive web of dense (light) and empty (dark) regions. This image is one out of five patches of the sky observed by KiDS. Here the invisible dark matter is seen rendered in pink, covering an area of sky around 400 times the size of the full moon. This image reconstruction was made by analysing the light collected from over 2.5 million distant galaxies more than 6 billion light-years away. The observed galaxy images were warped by the gravitational pull of dark matter as the light travelled through the Universe. Some small dark regions, with sharp boundaries, appear in this image. They are the locations of bright stars and other nearby objects that get in the way of the observations of more distant galaxies and are hence masked out in these maps as no weak-lensing signal can be measured in these areas. Credit: Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/H. Hildebrandt & B. Giblin/ESO

Also see:

06-26-2018 – Are Advanced Cosmic Intelligences Countering Dark Energy Expansion By Harvesting Stars?
02-26-2018 – Why Is Our Universe Expanding Faster Than Expected?
05-26-2017 – Part 2 – Aliens: Scientists Search for Extraterrestrial Life


More Information:

01-31-2019 – 2nd Mysterious Repeating Fast Radio Burst (FRB) Discovered – What Are They?
06-26-2018 – Are Advanced Cosmic Intelligences Countering Dark Energy Expansion By Harvesting Stars?
02-26-2018 – Why Is Our Universe Expanding Faster Than Expected?
05-26-2017 – Part 2 – Aliens: Scientists Search for Extraterrestrial Life
09-30-2016 – Part 2: Self-Activating Intelligence of Dragonfly and James Webb Telescopes
09-30-2016 – Part 1: Searching for Other Life and Dark Matter in This Universe
01-31-2013 – Morphogenetic Fields, Telepathy and Science Set Free
07-29-2012 – Updated: Was Biggest Canyon in the Solar System Scarred by Plasma? Was Biggest Canyon in the Solar System Scarred by Plasma? 
12-13-2011 – “God Particle” Search Narrows to 124 – 126 GeV.
11-06-2011 – Emails from A Time Traveler?
03-03-2011 – Part 8:  Private Detective’s Encounters with Non-Humans
08-20-2010 – Part 6: Is Time Travel Past and Future Possible?
11-19-2009 – Large Hadron Collider: Looking for the “God Particle” and Beyond
08-27-2009 – Part 6: Is Time Travel Past and Future Possible?
09-09-2008 – Updated Part 1: Getting Close to the “Big Bang” Inside Large Hadron Collider?
09-09-2008 – Part 2: Getting Close to the “Big Bang” Inside Large Hadron Collider?
10-18-2007 – A Quantum Math Description of Parallel Universes
01-07-2007 – Universe’s Mysterious Dark Matter – First 3-D Map
06-25-2005 – “Junk DNA” That’s Not Junk


Websites:

“Improved Hubble Yardstick Gives Fresh Evidence for New Physics in the Universe,” February 22, 2018, Hubblesite:  https://media.stsci.edu/news_release/news/2018-12

“Have Dark Forces Been Messing With The Cosmos?,” February 25, 2019, The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/25/science/cosmos-hubble-dark-energy.html

“Hopkins Theorists Propose A Resolution To A Growing Crisis In Cosmology,” November 28, 2018, Johns Hopkins University Center for Astrophysical Sciences:  https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/11/28/marc-kamionkowski-hubble-tension-early-dark-energy/

Hubble Tension:  https://physics-astronomy.jhu.edu/2018/11/30/vivian-poulin-leads-cosmology-theorists-in-paper-concerning-hubble-tension/


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