A new study conducted by the Universities of Portsmouth and Rome have reached the conclusion that dark energy is swallowing up dark matter, which offers data about the nature of these two quite mysterious entities and also gives the world a glimpse into the future of our Universe.
Dark matter cannot be seen with telescopes, but its gravitational effects on objects in space are undeniable. Astronomers do not know what dark matter is made of, they only know that it doesn’t emit light or electromagnetic radiation, nor does it absorb it.
Dark energy, on the other hand is energy that saturates the cosmic space and accelerates the expansion of the universe. We’ve known since the beginning of the 90’s that the universe is expanding at a high rate. What baffled the science world was the fact that the universe was expanding faster and not slower, which would have made sense because of gravity. To clear things up, scientists put the fast expansion of the universe on dark energy.
Now, according to new measurements, it appears that dark energy is swallowing up dark matter. The observable universe has 26.8% dark matter in it and 68.3% dark energy, while the rest of 4.9% consists of ordinary matter (this matter is us, the animals, stars, galaxies and everything that is tangible in a traditional sense).
The researchers in Rome and Portsmouth have stumbled upon an amazing discovery: they found that dark energy is swallowing up dark matter; the Director of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, Professor David Wands, had this to say about the stunning results of their study:
This study is about the fundamental properties of space-time. On a cosmic scale, this is about our Universe and its fate. 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. Dark matter provides a framework for structures to grow in the Universe. The galaxies we see are built on that scaffolding and what we are seeing here, in these findings, suggests that dark matter is evaporating, slowing that growth of structure.
The reason why dark energy is swallowing up dark matter is not yet known, nor do scientists expect to find out the reason behind this very soon. It is, though, a very good starting point for a plethora of new studies about the universe and dark matter and energy.