Ever Darker Universe Expanding Ever Faster?

The most important discoveries in physics of the last 50 years are Dark Matter, and so-called Dark Energy.

The two most precise methods to evaluate the accelerated expansion of the Universe disagree by 9%. This surfaces from a recent 2016 paper. I am astounded by the fact that different methods agree so much.

A paper detailing the discrepancy, reported on the pre-print server Arxiv in April by Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues, accepted by The Astrophysical Journal, reveals the slight discrepancy between the methods we have of measuring the expansion of the universe.

Not auspicious for life: Cepheids Stars Enable To Compute Distance. RS Puppis Shown Here, Varies By A Factor of 5 Every 40 Days.

Not auspicious for life: Cepheids Stars Enable To Compute Distance. RS Puppis Shown Here, Varies By A Factor of 5 Every 40 Days.

One method looks at dimples in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), a glow supposedly left behind by the hot, early universe just a few hundred thousand years after the alleged Big Bang. Space-based observatories like NASA’s WMAP and ESA’s Planck have measured small fluctuations in temperature in the CMB. Assuming we understand the physics in extreme detail, the size of these fluctuations let physicists calculate how fast the universe was expanding when the universe began, some 13.7 billion years ago.

The other method measures how distant galaxies appear to recede from us as the universe expands, using stars and supernovae of type Ia, which have a known brightness to estimate the distance to those galaxies. These Type Ia supernovae measurements led to the discovery of dark energy, and earned Riess and other physicists in Berkeley and Australia a Nobel prize in 2011.

The discovery of Dark Energy was astounding (although rumors existed since the 1970s). The physics established in the early Twentieth Century did not predict Dark Energy anymore than Dark Matter (Dark Matter was indirectly observed around 1934, but mainstream physics obstinately refused to pay attention for many decades… And still does not, on the theoretical side).

In the case of Dark Matter, it is hoped by the Standard Persons of the Standard Model, that a mundane, anticipated explanation will surface, such as SuperSymmetry (“SUSY”). SUSY would provide for plenty of mass, because it adds plenty of particles (one for each existing particle). SUSY assumes a perfect symmetry between bosons and fermions.

But I don’t believe very much that SUSY, even if it existed, would explain Dark Matter, for a number of reasons. Somehow the mass of the Super Partners would have to add up to ten times the mass of everyday matter. That’s weird (to me). Even worse, SUSY does not explain why Super Partners would get spatially segregated, as Dark Matter is (as far as I know, only my own theory explains this readily).

Instead I believe an obvious logical loophole in Quantum Physics will provide (plenty of) Dark Matter. And it makes the observed spatial segregation between Dark Matter and normal matter, obvious. One could call that little pet of mine, the Quantum Leak Theory (QLT).

I do not see a natural explanation for Dark Energy. Nor do any of the established theories. Actually, Dark Energy is not described well enough to even know what is really going on (different scenarios are known as “Einstein Cosmological Constant”, or “Quintessence”, etc.).

Yet, it is imaginable, at least in my own theory of Dark Matter, that the mechanism creating Dark Matter itself could also produce Dark Energy. Indeed the QLT implies that long-range forces such as gravity change over cosmological distances (a bit like MOdified Newtonian Dynamics, MOND).

To come back down at the most prosaic level: supernovae distance measurements depend on knowing the distance to nearby pulsing stars very precisely (such as the Cepheid RS Puppis depicted above). The European Space Agency’s Gaia mission, an observatory launched last year, which is measuring the distance to 1 billion Milky Way stars, should help.

Many other telescopes will soon come on-line. Astronomy leads physics, just as it did, 25 centuries ago. Nothing beats looking out of the box, and peering in the dark universe.

Patrice Ayme’


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19 Responses to “Ever Darker Universe Expanding Ever Faster?”

  1. Matt Says:


  2. brodix Says:


    The James Webb space telescope is now scheduled for 2018.

    The basis of dark energy is that the rate of redshift increases at about half the distance to the edge of the visible universe.
    So that in the presumed model, the expansion started at close to the speed of light and has since been slowing down, presumably due to the effect of gravity. Since the cause of this expansion is/was assumed to be entirely due to the initial “bang,” the fact that it doesn’t slow at a constant rate, but slowed fairly quickly and then settles out to a more stable rate, requires some additional force.
    It would be like a bullet fired from a gun, that after it had traveled aways on the initial blast, had a rocket motor kick in, to sustain its momentum.

    Now if redshift were an optical effect that compounded on itself, it would eventually start to go parabolic, until a horizon line is reached, where it is shifted entirely off the visible spectrum and we would only detect the microwave, black body radiation. That a shift would seem to happen at about 7 billion lightyears, would be due to the limits of observing a limited number of very faint sources, of a more steady curve upward, in the rate of increase..

    • De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

      The accelerating expansion is steady (hence the dilemma quintessence/cosmological constant Patrice talked about). As far as I know. Where did you get that seven billion year thing?

      What does the idea that redshift is an optical effect comes from? That’s not standard terminology What does that mean? Cosmological redshift is caused by the stretching of the fabric of space.

      • brodix Says:

        From having been reading the news, back in ’89, when DE was first promulgated. It’s not steady. The rate of increase, increases. Otherwise there would have been no need for dark energy.

        Here is a link, but it says 5 billion years ago. Some others say 7.

        Google “accelerated expansion of the universe,” if you don’t believe me.

        The way they describe it is confusing, because the universe(presumably) started off, with inflation, expanding faster than the speed of light. Slowed from there to the speed of light and continued to slow, but not at the rate they expected, so they use the term “acceleration,” but it certainly doesn’t speed up to faster than the speed of light, it simply stabilizes at a steady rate.

        “Cosmological redshift is caused by the stretching of the fabric of space.”

        If the distance between two galaxies goes from x lightyears, to 2x lightyears, that is not expanding space, but increasing distance, as measured in lightyears.

        If space was actually expanding, wouldn’t its most fundamental ruler, the speed of light in a VACUUM, stretched as well?

        Otherwise you have one metric, based on the spectrum of intergalactic light, being compared to another metric, based on the speed of the very same intergalactic light. Aka, the vacuum.

        Yet the doppler effect requires light to take longer to cross and so it is not “Constant” to the “expanded” metric.

        • De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

          You seem to answer your own questions: light gets stretched. BTW, one can’t measure the one way speed of light at galactic distances, at least directly.

          • brodix Says:

            The issue is the relation between the measure and what is measured. The speed of light is the denominator and the expanded distance is the numerator.

            I assume you understand doppler shift. That as it is crossing an increasing distance, the wave has to travel further, which stretches the time it takes and so it has a longer/lower frequency.

            While the wave is being stretched, the speed does not change. That is why it takes longer to cross and is stretching the wave.

            If the speed of light were to increase, remaining constant to the distance, then the wave wouldn’t stretch and it wouldn’t be redshifted!

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            You got the Doppler shift theory wrong. Doppler shift is about the source, AT the source. Galactic color shift is NOT a red shift.
            I am camping in a sequoia forest, so, although I want very much to write more, I can’t

  3. De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

    I understand the supernova standard candle method to figure out the expansion. Could you please explain the method with the CMB?

  4. brodix Says:


    Redshift is measured by the receiver. If it is moving toward the source, the waves will arrive faster and so have a higher frequency. Moving away and they take longer, so a lower frequency.

    Jealous. Hope the weather is nice as well. Hot and muggy here.

  5. Duviel Says:

    Intersting although im a bit lost on this subject. What I really want to know is if space travel is possible and might we find planets humans can habitate so we can become a multi-planet species.

  6. ianmillerblog Says:

    There is some evidence the 1A may not be quite the standard candle some say. First, the radiation we see would be somewhat determined by the outer shell, and in turn, that might depend on the metallicity of the partner star, so older 1As might be dimmer (or not as luminous). I went to a talk by a local cosmologist, and while i cannot be sure he was right, the point he made was that out to red shift 1 you cannot actually tell the difference between a constant or accelerating expansion, and data beyond red shift 1 is erratic. Message – we need better data.

    As for dark matter, I can’t help wondering whether Heim was right – he postulated a neutral electron, and provided it was its own antiparticle, that would actually explain the dark matter/natural matter ratio if we take the standard asymmetry of the cancellation of matter/antimatter.

    • Duviel Says:

      So, to put it in more simple words.

      We still dont know crap about the nature of our universe!

      But we do have to keep trying.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Well, yes, Dark Matter (discovered in 1934!!!!!!!!!!!!) was long resisted, as Standard Physics has no explanation (I have one, but I am not standard). Dark Energy was a completely unexpected blow… But not too surprising when we look at what used to be the evidence for expansion (it was very imperfect, gross, rough, patchy…)
        I have a theory, to explain both, but it will make standard physicists howl to the sky… First in derision, and, hopefully, later in despair…

        • Duviel Says:

          Well im certainly not a physicist but, its very interesting.

          Do you believe that space travel at or even beyond speed of light will ever occur?

          If you believe Aliens have visited earth you must believe its possible I would say?

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            I have argued, even recently that brainy animals bearing planets will be exceedingly rare. Let alone planets led by dinosaurians Kim, Clinton, Trump, Adolf..
            See reference (to me!) therein…

            I don’t have any idea if going faster than light is possible. I know (what I call) the Quantum Interaction goes faster than light. But that acts WITHIN (those sets we call) particles. Light is a prisoner of local space (Poincare’/Lorentz idea). Nothing say that local space cannot go faster than light. Actually the standard Big bang theory has to assume that, to make sense…

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            There is every indication that life evolved within the Solar System, with a good probability it got started on Mars… So we are all Martians… Not even a need for 2001 Space Odyssey hypothesis…

            A civilization proceeding to colonize the Galaxy with (basically) existing technology, could do it in a few hundreds of thousands of years… So it’s likely that there is NO civilization in the galaxy which survived the Kim/Hitler/Genghis Khan zone…

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Ian: That’s interesting, your psychological position on this, and mine. Generally I am the iconoclast. I respect little, and authority least of all. However, I cannot check personally this sort of astrophysical data. Considering the fulcrum of proofs of the accelerating expansion, I take it for granted. A mathematician called Segal had written an entire book in the 1970s about the expansion being accelerating (from the data at the time… without using 1A supernovae…).

      What I find most interesting, though, is that data I have seen is compatible with a WEAKENING of gravity. If such is the case, considering that my Dark Matter theory predicts it, I would have an explanation of Dark Energy!

      As you said, we need better data.

      I don’t understand that neutral electron idea. The only Dark Matter theory which predicts the (OBSERVED) physical segregation of Matter and Dark Matter, is, well, you guessed it, mine…

      • ianmillerblog Says:

        First of all, I too hardly respect authority. I must post some blog articles as to why some time. A change in the gravitational constant would be interesting – I am not sure, though, how you determine it. In principle, I guess rotational velocities of galaxies might do the trick, except that don’t follow Newtonian expectations, so it may be rather difficult to interpret whatever you see – if you can actually resolve the signals from different parts of very distant galaxies.

        The neutral electron was predicted to have a mass 0.51617 MeV, the charged electron being predicted to have a mass of 0.51100 MeV. Apart from that, what more can I say? The formulae that predicted these used weird equations with quantum numbers, and I have no idea how they were derived. I have no idea whether this is valid or not, but it is a prediction from the 1980s for the existence of dark matter.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Forces, as depicted in Quantum Field Theory, are carried by exchange bosons. So-called virtual particles. Whether they are real; particles or not, is up in the air. Some say no, but the same argument seems to demolish normal particles too, in many cases. In my theory, propagating particles, over cosmic distances, can lose part of themselves, when they collapse back/singularize back into particles. So all and any “infinite” range force would lose might over great distance (as observed with Dark Energy). The remnants feed Dark Matter.

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