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The Accelerating Universe

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Part of the SpringerBriefs in Physics book series (SpringerBriefs in Physics)

Abstract

Improvements in detector technology, image analysis and other factors led to the definitive detection of dark energy in 1998 using the magnitude-redshift relation for Type Ia supernovae. However, the results were so shocking that even their own discoverers had trouble believing them at first. The rapid convergence of two independent and very different teams to a similar conclusion played a large part in convincing the cosmological community of the reality of a vacuum-dominated accelerating universe. But the deep theoretical issues regarding the status of the cosmological constant have only become murkier. We do not know why \(\varLambda \) is so much smaller than calculations based on quantum field theory would suggest; nor why the present energy densities of dark energy and matter should be so similar. In some senses, it appears that we are returning to a pre-Copernican view of the world, in which our composition and location in time are both special, even if our position in space is not.

Keywords

Supernovae Cosmic microwave background Cosmological-constant problem Coincidence problem 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Science StudiesAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Astronomy and GeosciencesTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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