The other day I posted on dark matter. I didn’t make it any lighter. But at least I brought out that dark matter may not be dark and it may not be matter. In fact, we have no idea what it is. We only know that the amount of mass in the universe does not account for the amount of gravity we can measure.
Well, that is pretty darned weird. But there is something even more weird about the universe where we live. We have discovered (not me, other really, really smart folks) that the universe is expanding. Not only is it expanding, it is expanding at an accelerating rate. How could it be if we have so much gravity around? Wouldn’t that pull stuff back together – back to a “big crunch”?
Well, once again, we have no idea. We just know what measurements show. But we need to look smart in front of the wife and kids, so we say that there is something out there called “dark energy”. This dark energy stuff is pushing matter apart. And this nice article from Quarks to Quasars will explain this in a bit more detail.
If you don’t want to read the article, think of this force as an enormous stinky skunk that got loose at the center of the universe. A gigantic Pepe Le Pew
All sensible objects are bolting for the exits. But at some point, Pepe may run out of stink. And when he does? Well, that might exhaust what we call dark energy and matter might converge for a big cocktail party again at the center of the universe to prepare for yet another big bang. Yes, this is the exciting new theory of all things.
Hmmm … but where did Pepe le pew come from? We are still working on that one.