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Several mind-boggling conjectures about the existence of advanced alien civilizations have been made by astrophysicists who have found that for the last 7 billion years or so something is pushing the galaxies, adding energy to them. Something they are calling “dark energy,” a force that is real, but so far eludes detection. One of the most speculative ideas for the mechanism of an accelerating cosmic expansion is called “quintessence”, a relative of the Higgs field that permeates the cosmos.

“The discovery of dark energy has greatly changed how we think about the laws of nature,” said Edward Witten, creator of string theory and one of the world’s leading theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. who has been compared to Newton and Einstein.

One of
thegreat known unknowns of the universe is the nature of dark energy, a force field making the universe expand faster. Current theories range from end-of-the universe scenarios to dark energy as the manifestation of advanced alien life.

Cosmologists are now exploring the possibility that the vast majority of the energy in the universe is in the form of a hitherto undiscovered substance called “quintessence” that it causes the expansion of the universe to speed up. Most forms of energy, such as matter or radiation, cause the expansion to slow down due to the attractive force of gravity. For quintessence, however, the gravitational force is repulsive, and this causes the expansion of the universe to accelerate.

In cosmology, reports Physics World, quintessence is a real form of energy distinct from any normal matter
orradiation, or even “dark matter”. Its bulk properties – energy density, pressure and so forth – lead to novel behavior and unusual astrophysical phenomena. So far its existence has only been inferred indirectly from a range of observations, but a number of current and planned experiments will make direct searches for this elusive form of energy.

A new, controversial theory suggests that this dark energy might be getting stronger and denser, leading to a future in which atoms are torn asunder and time ends.

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Category: Science