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New Clues About the Nature of Dark Energy

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the spaced-out dept.

Space 166

Jim Mansfield writes "With the Hubble space telescope no longer being serviced by NASA, it's good to see one of their hardest working and most famous satellites in the news again. According to their press release on the nature of dark energy, Einstein may have been right after all - and even if he turns out to have been wrong, it seems that dark energy is not going 'to cause an end to the universe any time soon' ... whew, that's a relief." See also a space.com story.

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GNAA Announces responsibility for kernel backdoor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361476)

GNAA Announces responsibility for kernel backdoor
By Tim Copperfield
Raleigh, NC - GNAA (Gay Nigger Association of America) this afternoon announced one of their loyal members was responsible for planting the "backdoor" inside the popular opensores operating system, Lunix [redhat.com] (Stocks [yahoo.com] , Websites [google.com] ).

In a shocking announcement this afternoon, GNAA representative goat-see revealed that the mistery hacker who penetrated high-security defenses of the Lunix "source code" repository and injected viral gay nigger seed deep inside the kernel was indeed a full-time GNAA member.
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Insertion of the GNAA backdoor came right between the consideration of Novell [novell.com] to buy out the entire Lunix Kernel programming team, and will most likely positively affect the decision. By adding all the gay niggers working for Novell with the gay niggers developing Lunix kernel source, GNAA will be all-powerful and will begin plotting our next plans to add "backdoors" into the next favorite operating system, BeOS [microsoft.com] .

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About Lunix
Lunix is an operating system. An operating system is the basic set of programs and utilities that make your computer run. Some other common operating systems are Unix (and its variants BSD, AIX, Solaris, HPUX, and others); DOS; Microsoft Windows; Amiga; and Mac OS.
Lunix is Free Software. Now, just because it's Free, doesn't necessarily mean it's free. Think "free" as in "free speech," not "free beer," as we in the Free Software/Open Source community like to say. In a nutshell, software that is free as in speech, like Lunix, is distributed along with its source code so that anyone who receives it is free to make changes and redistribute it. So, not only is it ok to make copies of Lunix and give them to your friends, it's also fine to tweak a few lines of the source code while you're at it -- as long as you also freely provide your modified source code to everyone else. To learn more about free software and the major software license it is distributed under, called the General Public License (GPL), go here [com.com] .

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.
By moderating this post as "Underrated", you cannot be Meta-Moderated! Please consider this.

________________________________________________
| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ |
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ |
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ |
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

"I'm not handing out hydraulic penises. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361480)

It's unethical!" - Dr. Quinn

I wouldn't worry (5, Funny)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361486)

I wouldn't worry about the Hubble, it will just end up drifting off into space only to return 300 years later as H'ble, the super intelligent sentient telescope of the future, bent on destroying the human race.

Ok, so maybe there is reason to worry....

Re:I wouldn't worry (2, Funny)

rknop (240417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361532)

Ok, so maybe there is reason to worry....

Naah... because by then there will be a crew of people who a few years previously will have saved the world once a week for 26 weeks out of the year. We'll be in good hands.

-Rob

Re:I wouldn't worry (2, Funny)

ThereIsNoSporkNeo (587688) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361999)

But... but... what if it falls in an off week?

What if they've already used up all 26 of their "Rescue the Earth"s?

Trapped in paranoia-

Re:I wouldn't worry (4, Funny)

DangerSteel (749051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361675)

Is that why we will have to go back in time to get a whale to talk to the evil telescope... no.. wait.... we will have to explain to it why we decided not to repair the telescope and give it an extended life.....dammit, I'm all confused now...

Re:I wouldn't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362173)

Is that why we will have to go back in time to get a whale to talk to the evil telescope...

Yes, and the entire situation will seem strangely familiar, [ericweisstein.com] but no one will comment on this.

Re:I wouldn't worry (0)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361702)

"I wouldn't worry about the Hubble, it will just end up drifting off into space"

Actually, NASA would likely send up a robotic mission to safely take it down over an ocean.

Also, Hubble isn't written off yet -- there's still a chance [hubblesite.org] that a shuttle might service it.

Re:I wouldn't worry (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362351)

>> Also, Hubble isn't written off yet -- there's still a chance that a shuttle might service it.
Unfortunately, Hubble has about the same chance of getting serviced as I do.

Bye bye, Hubble. We hardly knew ye ;>

Re:I wouldn't worry (0)

Walrus99 (543380) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362584)

I wouldn't worry about the Hubble, it will just end up drifting off into space only to return 300 years later as H'ble, the super intelligent sentient telescope of the future, bent on destroying the human race.

Then it will use its giant lens to focus the sun's rays on humans and burn us up like ants.

That is unless we find some bald Indian chick to have a super space make-out with a white guy ...Then the female Klingon science officer will go to work in a Boston bar ...

May I just be the first (1, Funny)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361490)

To say the dark side of the force is much much more powerful than the light.

The Sith Lord awaits.

Re:May I just be the first (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361581)

This guy is an idiot. Mod him to hell!

Re:May I just be the first (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361599)

This guy is an idiot. Mod him to hell!
This guy is a cocksucker, email gridle@mame.net for prices.

Re:May I just be the first (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361602)

Pointing out someone is redundant on slashdot is a tadge redundant in itself, no?

Re:May I just be the first (2, Funny)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361667)

No it's not. It's faster, more seductive. But it'll cost you your soul. Hmm, just like a Ferrari.

Yeah, but ... (-1)

cablepokerface (718716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361516)

New Clues About the Nature of Dark Energy

... does it bind the universe together?

What a bitch.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361521)

So it seems all theorists agree the universe will end one day, they're just not sure how..Thats a bummer..

The restaurant at the end of the universe (4, Funny)

dapyx (665882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361524)

..dark energy probably won't destroy the universe any sooner than about 30 billion years from now, say Hubble researchers.

The restaurant at the end of the universe must be really far...

Re:The restaurant at the end of the universe (1, Funny)

Egekrusher2K (610429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361529)

As always, you are wrong. The TRUE answer is 42.

Re:The restaurant at the end of the universe (1, Insightful)

dapyx (665882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361575)

Yes. the total lifespan of the universe must be 42 billion.

14 billion already passed, there are 28 billion remaining, and that's close to the 30 billion figure they said.

Re:The restaurant at the end of the universe (2, Informative)

mog007 (677810) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361714)

I assume you're using "far" to discuss lengths of time, and not distance. Everyone who's anyone knows that the Restaurant at the End of the Universe is located on Magrathera, just 30 billion years in the future.

Re:The restaurant at the end of the universe (2, Insightful)

j0n4th4nb34r (744555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361943)

Time, distance, it's all space-time...

Actually right here: Re:The restaurant (1)

sammyo (166904) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362643)

Recent topological cosmological theories suggest there universe is 'connected'. Thus the ends 'wrap' around like an n dimensional torus (doughnut) and if you travel all the way you are actually back where you started.

yeah (-1, Offtopic)

thoffmeyer (755617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361533)

heh, your all mostly right.. but i really dont care about space and such

Racists! (2, Funny)

dapyx (665882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361539)

the dark energy probably won't destroy the universe any sooner than about 30 billion years These damned white scientists are racists: yesterday they said that a black hole destroyed a star, now this: the dark energy will destroy our universe!

Here's your dark energy, buddy. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361556)

I do the club scene a lot, some say I am a good dancer. I enjoy having a few drinks, usually ale or mead, and I have been known to cause a scene now and then...

Eric paused, breathing heavily. He'd never done this before and he wanted to make sure all of his best qualities were included in this email.

I am a geek, to be frank, and I enjoy hacking UNIX and maintaining Open Source programs such as Felchmale^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HFetchmail and a bevy of FAQs regarding 386 sound internals and role-playing games. I've been doing this for 15 years though I've never held a job in my life.

Eric wondered if this woman he had found on match.com would be impressed with his talents. He decided to put more detail into the message.

I recently drove 24 hours straight, with but two stops for gasoline, from Eastern PA to Kansas City in an effort to destroy my two arch-nemeses. I would have succeeded except that I blew a head gasket as I was about to shoot one of them from my moving car on Route 69 [trollaxor.com] . I am an excellent shot and love guns in general.

ESR pondered for a moment, wringing out his soaked handkerchief, and continued with his typing.

So what languages do you know? I fancy myself quite an accomplished amateur linguist and know Anglo-Saxon and Old Icelandic inside and out. I often compose little riddles in them for fun and mental exercise. In fact, I'll include one for you now!

Chewing on his tongue and squinting, Eric pushed his mind into overdrive and produced a beauty of a riddle on the spot:

Windeth I towarde the skye
I haveth eye but blinde am I

Pleased with his linguistic talents, undoubtedly matched by no one, Eric then asked his potential love-conquest:

Can you guess the answer to that? In case you can not, the correct answer is "my erect penis." I hope you enjoyed that; I do this sort of thing all the time.

Eric exhaled slowly and rubbed his belly. It was growling and no doubt wanted its nightly bottle of Jgermeister. He decided to finish up the email in anticipation of the coming alcoholic stupor.

Well I don't want to make this email too long -- I have a lot of responsibilities in real life to deal with. My role-playing group is coming over and we are spending the next week holed up in the forest near my home in character playing out a possible scenario from Beowulf. I need to get dressed up and I can not find my bear-claw mittens.

Eric wondered how to wrap up the email, something that would hook the lady on him and make her want more...

I hope we can meet and have sex. Despite my cerebral palsy, I am a monster in the sack! Maybe you'll get to see for yourself, LOLOLOL! ;-)
Love,
Eric S. Raymond

Today was shaping up to be a great day for Eric S. Raymond, Open Source figurehead and accidental anthropologist extraordinaire. He had finally received, after two years [slashdot.org] , a reply to his Match.com love-letter. Using Open Source tools such as Perl and Jgermeister, Eric had wired his entire house to his 386 running Linux. His shack had just lit up like a Christmas tree before his eyes the instant the reply hit his inbox.

Straining to read the dusty 13" monitor, ESR pulled out a soiled handkerchief and spat it in, eagerly wiping away the years of filth and grime. When the screen was cleared, he sat anxiously at his kitchen table waiting for his lovely's email to come up. After what seemed like minutes (and was actually closer to a half hour) of Linux swapping, Felchmale displayed her reply on the screen. Eric beamed as he read the first few lines, and warm sweat began welling up on his ruddy brow.

Windeth I towarde the skye
I haveth eye but blinde am I
I liked your little poem. ror! You are very clever!

Eric clapped his hands together several times as a smiled festered its way across his face. He exhaled sharply through taut lips, as if he were literally letting pressure off, and mopped sweat from his forehead. He also began opening a new bottle of Jgermeister.

So how did you learn Anglo-Saxon and Old Icelandic? I only know American English. You must be so smart!

Eric almost had a heart-attack. Jger shot into the air and his hands started shaking uncontrollably. This girl was not only beautiful, but recognized his intelligence and therefore his alpha-male dominance! He began drinking the Jger with his trembling left hand as he started pounding on his chest with the right not in victory but in an attempt to get his heart beating in a proper cycle again. Replies this good only came along once in a blue moon. After a few seconds his crooked eyes returned to the email.

I drove to Kansas City to destroy my two arch-nemeses.
I blew a head gasket on Route 69 [trollaxor.com] .
What a coincidence! I live in Kansas City and take Route 69 [trollaxor.com] to work every day! I bet you went right by my apartment! Wow, it's almost as if we were fated to meet one another!

Eyes whirring back and forth, Eric quickly scanned the rest of the email. It was bursting with flirtations and niceties. Clearly this woman was swinging material! He wasted no time in writing his reply. Fetchmail crashed, a known bug that Eric had yet to fix, so he started Pico and began typing in earnest. His lazy eye closed in concentration.

DEAR GENTLE MA'AM:

You must be a sorceress for you have enchanted me! (This happened to me in my LARP last week, lol!)

Allow me the pleasure of driving 24 hours straight, with but two stops for gasoline, from Eastern PA to Kansas City in an effort to pound your vagina into a sloppy wet mess.

Please send me your address and phone number and I can be on my way!

*hugz*
Eric

With the clack of a key-combo, Eric's reply was hurtling through cyberspace to his lovely in Kansas City. He began packing.

Eric smiled, a bent grin freezing over his lips. His cheeks were flush and his heart fluttered. Not only had he just finished his nightly bottle of Jgermeister, but his Match.com flame from Kansas City had just emailed him back with her address.

Hello Eric ;)

Here's my address. I just can't wait to meet you! It's not hard to get here especially since you've been here before.

4800 Kaw Drive
Kansas City, KS 66102-4165

I'll clean the place up for your visit. It's a real dump! ror!

Hope to see you vary soon! Bye!

Stuffing the printout of the email into the left breast pocket of his teal polo shirt, ESR shoved his chest out and stuck his shoulders back up as he spoke to himself, an aura of chirpy optimism about him.

"Alright. Let's get a move on!"

Several gym bags littered the floor around his kitchen table, all of various brands and colors. Each was filled to bursting point and was labeled in bold black marker. One said CLOTHES, a second had TOILETRIES scribbled on it, the third read LARP, and a fourth read GUNS. Eric had all the bases covered, he noted, save for his laptop.

Eric's laptop, several penguin and LNX stickers adorning it, was slowly but surely booting. Eric beamed at his pride and joy. Eric had visited Wal-Mart the night before and purchased a tape adapter. He had ripped Stallman Does Slovenia, a compilation of RMS's flute concerts performed in the Eastern Bloc, into Ogg Vorbis format and wanted to listen to it on the way to Kansas.

Finally bagging and slinging the laptop over his shoulder, Eric hunched over and grabbed two gym bags, shoved them in his car, and came back for the last two. He awkwardly dragged his foot several times before he dropped the bags on his doorstep, turned, and locked his door. Tugging one last time to make sure he had all five of his deadbolts secured, he piled into his 1985 maroon Dodge Omni and slammed the door shut.

A childish look of glee tightened Eric's face into a leering smile as he patted the steering wheel lovingly.

"Alright, ol' Bessie! We're going to Kansas City, Kansas City here we come! This is Manifest Destiny! This is fate! This is sex with a stranger from the Internet!"

At this Eric jammed his key into the ignition and turned it. The car jolted violently to life, gasping and coughing as the engine struggled to turn over. Dense blue smoke wafted from the tailpipe and hood while the sickly sweet smell of antifreeze filled the compartment. Coughing, Eric pumped the gas while he rolled down his salt-streaked window. With a few more knocks and pings the Omni jerked clumsily into gear and sputtered some gravel as it started down ESR's dirt driveway. Eric silently wondered if it would have been worth replacing the head gasket after it blew last time.

Whipping down his street toward the highway, Eric fiddled with the controls on his laptop as the sounds of RMS's gentle flute filled the car, drowning out the sound of his sputtering engine. In his toil ESR clumsily sideswiped a large yellow school bus full of children that had stopped in front of him, tearing the STOP sign from its side. As the bus driver shook a fist at him, ESR smiled and licked his lips, tasting the last few drops of the Jgermeister he had just finished.

Eric pushed the accelerator to the floor and his Omni climbed to 60 MPH as it sped West on Interstate 80. There was quite a drive to go, Eric thought, as the sun set ahead of him. He whistled quietly along to the music and locked his crooked eyes on the road. His only thought was of 4800 Kaw Drive.

...End of time? (5, Interesting)

nharmon (97591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361560)

If the repulsion from dark energy is or becomes stronger than Einstein's prediction, the universe may be torn apart by a future "Big Rip," during which the universe expands so violenty that first the galaxies, then the stars, then planets, and finally atoms come unglued in a catastrophic end of time.

This is quite a shift from the implosion theory that results in pre-'Big Bang' conditions causing a loop in time.

Re:...End of time? (4, Interesting)

sbma44 (694130) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361588)

Yeah, but that theory's been out of vogue for a while. It's theoretically tidy (and therefore attractive), but I believe the last few years' astronomical data has shown the universe's rate of expansion is accelerating. Something new woulkd have to turn up for the Big Crunch to come into vogue again.

Re:...End of time? (3, Interesting)

SashaM (520334) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361733)

I always wonder whether the "It's accelerating so it'll drift apart in the end" folks understand basic calculus. The rate of expansion accelerating doesn't mean it will continue accelerating - the third derivative of x(t) could be negative, or the fourth, and then the fifth could be positive again. You need to know all of the derivatives to know the function itself (and even that isn't true for some functions - e^(-1/x^2) IIRC).

Re:...End of time? (1)

srleffler (721400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362406)

They understand the physics behind the overall rate of expansion of the universe, or at least they think they do. Knowing the current rate of expansion and its derivative is probably sufficient to predict the future outcome, assuming the theoretical model is correct. Of course, there are some questions about the basic model and it is not clear how they will be resolved in the end.

Re:...End of time? (5, Informative)

V_M_Smith (186361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362450)

I always wonder whether the "It's accelerating so it'll drift apart in the end" folks understand basic calculus. The rate of expansion accelerating doesn't mean it will continue accelerating


Well, if you've done any General Relativity you'll know that for a standard cosmology (FLRW cosmology), the final state is one of recollapse, asymptotic expansion, or accelerating expansion. This end state depends on the total mass-energy content of the universe and the nature of the dark energy (cosmological constant). It really isn't a lack of understanding of "basic calculus", but rather a deeper understanding of the physics involved. So, basically, we don't need to know all the derivatives -- we just need to have an understanding of the potential in which our universe evolves.

Excellent question! (1)

Pi_0's don't shower (741216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362496)

You're absolutely right. If the third derivative is negative, or higher derivatives affect physics, this would change things again. Or, as you say, if there is some potential that is chosen, you can construct whatever universe you like.

This second idea is actually the basis of quintessence, one of the leading theories of dark energy. But there is no motivation for choosing these potentials, which is why many physicists find them unsatisfactory.

The problem with your reasoning for higher derivative physics is, well, physics just doesn't seem to depend on higher derivatives. Newton's law is F=ma. It could have been F=ma + something*(da/dt), but it appears physics doesn't work that way. There are stability arguments people have used to "disprove" that physics depends on anything higher than second derivatives, actually.

(I put disprove in quotes not because it isn't right, but because I don't understand the arguments well enough to know whether it's right or not. But it's still an excellent point.)

Physicists generally write down equations for the scale factor, it's first derivative, and it's second derivative. Higher derivatives do exist and can be written down, but the general consensus is that there is no new physical information in there.

Re:Excellent question! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362598)

Physicists generally write down equations for the scale factor, it's first derivative, and it's second derivative. Higher derivatives do exist and can be written down, but the general consensus is that there is no new physical information in there.

Maybe God doesn't understand calculus, so he instead just tweaks a knob every few billion years to adjust the espansion rate.

Re:...End of time? (4, Informative)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362507)


Of course they understand basic calculus. They just also understand the currently prevailing model for the constitution of the universe and its evolution. To have the accelerating expansion stop accelerating, decelerate, or turn over would require some additional, extremely bizarre physics that's not indicated by any observation or experiment we presently have. This may seem like an odd constraint for me to place when we're talking about something as bizarre as "dark energy", but it isn't. There were a lot of theoretical reasons from both cosmology and elementary particle physics (and even a few vague extragalactic observational reasons) to at least consider that the cosmological constant may be nonzero; that's why the two high-z supernova teams did their work. And now there's still harder data suggesting same. In contrast, there's just no reason whatsoever to presume unbelievably bizarre physics of the form necessary to produce the behavior to which you appeal. The scale-factor dependence of the currently-known components of the Universe don't have the higher-order derivative behavior you appeal to; while coming up with a hypothetical field that does is pretty damned hard. That doesn't mean you're wrong, of course; it just means the odds are very highly against you. The claims they're making are almost certainly true.

Re:...End of time? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362634)

In a Friedmann-Lemaitre cosmology, if the universe is dominated by mass, then the rate of expansion cannot accelerate.

This is why the observation of an accelerating rate of expansion (first convincingly made in 1998) indicates that there is something other than mass... and that something, whatever it is, in fact dominates the evolution of the universe at the moment.

As for whether the universe drifts apart in the end... you are right that this is a strong prediction. But it is at least a feature of a fairly general class of models for dark energy. I'm pretty sure that, at this point, most astrophysicists think it is quite likely that the universe will expand forever.

Big Rip a Big improbability (5, Informative)

Pi_0's don't shower (741216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361956)

If you fear things involving physics, skip the rest of this post. Alright, for those who are interested, it seems like 70% of the current energy density of the universe is in some form of "dark energy", as was previously stated. The Universe is currently 13.7 billion years old. We say that every component in the universe has an energy density and a pressure. Dark energy is different from things like normal matter and light, because these have positive pressures. (Normal matter has a very small pressure). But dark energy has a negative pressure, which means it works opposite to gravity. Everything that has a pressure that we can physically think of (well, that I can physically think of) has a pressure between (-1)*energy density and (+1)*energy density. A big rip will only occur (and it will only occur in the very distant future) if the dark energy has a pressure that is outside this range, such that pressure is less than (-1)*energy density. This is, of course, possible, but unlikely in my view.

Not with a whimper, but a "Big Rip"? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361595)

"And in the end of days, God shall eat Mexican food and several beers and ye verily shall His mighty thunder rend the Heavens."

That's one depressed satelite! (2, Funny)

Reinout (4282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361561)

Poor, poor huble. Getting scrapped by Nasa. You can just see he's getting really depressed. He already has a black outlook on life, all that dark energy...

Well, it's his own fault now, giving us back such negative waves [the-ocean.com] .

Reinout

Never underestimate the power of the schwartz! (3, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361563)

Oh sorry, I thought the headline was New Clues About the Nature of Dark Helmet.

"Now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb!"

- Dark Helmet

Re:Never underestimate the power of the schwartz! (0, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361664)

You already know that my schwartz is big.

What else do you want to know, maybe Slashdot will interview me.

Re:Never underestimate the power of the schwartz! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361674)

<Monty Python Nazi voice>
That's not funny!
</Monty Python Nazi voice>

The future of the Unvierse (4, Interesting)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361571)

After we have all (I assume that doesn't include any creationsists) adhered to the scientific theory of The Big Bang and the beginning of the Universe as we know it, I can only think that we can begin to accept the fate of the Universe.

As dark matter destabalizes, essentially matter is pulled apart at the atomic level. Some thing tells me The Big Rip, is what we are in for.

The universal constant is a nice theory and would be the better, happily-ever-after option, but in reality it seems a little far fetched if the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. It means that eventually speed will over come matter and every thing disintegrate and get ripped apart.

Big Rip != Acceleration (5, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362279)

The fact that the universe is accelerating is not the same as the "big rip". The accelerating universe, as we understand it now, sort of means that the space between everything and everything else is getting bigger all the time. However, in order to discover this (and the expansion of the universe in general), we have to look at very distant galaxies - we don't see our own galaxy flying apart, and some other galaxies bound together in our local galaxy cluster are orbiting or moving toward ours. In general, objects that are in bound states - whether gravitational bound states (like solar systems and galaxies) or other bound states (atoms, etc.) will remain held together even as the distant galaxies which are not tightly bound to us zoom away. Our own situation on earth would be completely unaffected - you'd need a big telescope to even tell the difference. The idea of the "Big Rip" is that this condition that "bound things stay bound" (the dominant energy condition) might be violated, that dark energy might be so extreme that not even bound objects could keep from eventually dissipating. That idea is HIGHLY theoretical - there's no particular evidence for it, and until recently most theorists thought it was ridiculous. But, of course, this is science - we have to think about even the weird possibilities.

Relief? (5, Interesting)

philbert26 (705644) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361579)

If a big crunch doesn't end the universe, then heat death will. Eventually the universe will reach a state of maximum entropy, and nothing interesting will happen.

Before it gets to that stage, stars will become a rare occurance. The chain of star birth and death results in smaller stars, and once stars get small enough they become like our Sun -- too small to undergo the explosive death that would provide enough mass for future stars. Eventually there won't be enough clouds of hydrogen massive enough to start nuclear fusion.

Given enough time, current theories suggest that the universe seems to be screwed either way.

Re:Relief? (1)

plams (744927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361648)

current theories suggest that the universe seems to be screwed either way.

Reminds me of a Futurama episode.. the universe has just been destroyed by a time paradox, but oddly enough the main characters find themselves alive, floating around in white nothingness.

Some guy: Where are we?!
Al Gore (playing as himself): Well, I can tell you where we are not; THE UNIVERSE!!

Re:Relief? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361662)

Maybe you'r right, but the thing people don't give a damn. Remember we only live a short life, so therefore we think only for the short term. Hence this screwed up world that we live in.

It only takes a nearby star to go supernova to end this planet. And we now how predicitable they are.

Have a nice life, whats left of it.

we'll be toast before even then (-1, Offtopic)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361668)

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us
Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
The Observer
  • Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
  • Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
  • Threat to the world is greater than terrorism
Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.

rest of article [politrix.org]

Re:Relief? (2, Interesting)

thelasttemptation (703311) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361687)

Tho what's to say that we won't have the tech to scoop up the matter and make our own stars? Maybe the universe counts on intelligent life to keep it going?

Re:Relief? (2, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361691)

1) I seem to recall there's no such thing as maximum entropy. There's just the law that for any closed system, entropy never decreases. (Third law of Thermo? It's been waay too long ago...;)

2) The eventual cold death/ever expanding argument. I think they're still trying to figure out which way the universe is going to go.

If only the universe were as simple as E=mc2

Re:Relief? (3, Interesting)

sploxx (622853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361726)

Being a physics student, I really don't understand the heat death argument. The heat death argument relies on the 2nd law of thermodynamics -i.e. there can't be an entropy loss. But this is not exactly true. It is unbelievable improbable that an entropy loss occurs. If one supposes that time goes one after a heat death, there can and will be a restructuring(*) of the universe. The probability that a restructuring happens is unbelievable small. But as time approaches infinity, the probability that this happens will approach one. Of course, for us, that doesn't really matter much because we'll all dead before. (*) - restructuring here: Formation of stars a solar-system and something like an earth.

Re:Relief? (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362401)

I'm not a physicist either, but just looking at this from a simple perspective, if heat death occurs, and everything is slowly approaching 0 degrees kelvin, isn't the concept of time fading as well? Once everything comes to a halt and nothing is happening, then time becomes a frivolous dimension anyway.

It's sort of as though the "time" dimension itself will be curling up to insignificance the same way we currently understand higher spatial dimensions to be curled up...

Re:Relief? (4, Interesting)

xigxag (167441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362429)

It's true that entropy can decrease when matter/energy enters a spontaneously ordered state, e.g. all the gas collects in the corner of the room. In itself that's infinitesimally unlikely, yet still possible. But in the case of the universe we live in, there's an additional wrinke. The edges of the "room" are expanding faster than the speed of light. Which means, eventually, every particle will disappear over every other particle's event horizon, and it will be impossible to put them back together again.

Another person downthread alludes to the idea of surviving through increasing entropy by presumably using decreasing amounts of energy. In other words, as the universe gets older and colder, there will be, say, 1/100th the free energy available utilizable by a heat pump. So a form of alife could simply run itself 100 times more slowly and thereby experience time subjectively at a linear rate. Right? Wrong. Two problems pop up. One is proton decay, which means the building blocks of any sentient computer will eventually decay on their own. And second is the cosmic background radiation. Machines work on the principle of taking in energy and outputting it in the form of waste heat. But once the universe has cooled down to the same temperature as the CBR, it will be impossible for any machine to output waste heat. It will cease to function. There is some work being done on reversible computing [mit.edu] which might, in the long run, be able to tackle the second problem, but not the first.

Re:Relief? (1)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362591)


The heat death argument relies on the 2nd law of thermodynamics -i.e. there can't be an entropy loss. But this is not exactly true. It is unbelievable improbable that an entropy loss occurs. If one supposes that time goes one after a heat death, there can and will be a restructuring(*) of the universe. The probability that a restructuring happens is unbelievable small. But as time approaches infinity, the probability that this happens will approach one.

Such an argument would only hold if that unbelievably small probability is also constant (or at least, decreases sufficiently slowly). In fact, in the cosmological context, it's continually decreasing, because of the expansion and the consequential redshifting away of free particle energies. Then, on top of that, there's the expectation of what are essentially one-way processes associated with baryon number violation. A bath of photons, neutrinos, and electrons, their energies well below constantly decreasing from the expansion, isn't going to form a new solar system.

Re:Relief? (4, Informative)

Psiren (6145) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361771)

Stephen Baxter (I think?) wrote a very good book (Time) based around the idea of heat death. Some of the ideas that civilzations come up with to make the most out the last remaining energy in the universe is very neat. Well worth a read.

non-physical physics (4, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361585)

Right now we're about twice as confident than before that Einstein's cosmological constant is real,


Of course, 2x (near-as-dammit-zero-certainty) is pretty much the same as (near-as-dammit-zero-certainty)...

A lot of new physics does seem to be increasingly theoretical and "out there" on the proverbial limb. It would be good for the practical lot to catch up with the theoretical lot... unfortunately, trying to verify these out-there hypotheses seems to involve larger and larger atom-smashing accelerators. Lets just hope they don't need to find the 'Higgs Boson' (hint: ohhh WAAAY ohhh, ummm barrray :-)

Simon

Re:non-physical physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361642)

Well, it's a way to employ a glut of physicists with little hope of finding academic positions who didn't switch gears to go work in finance or the stock market.

Re:non-physical physics (4, Insightful)

poindextrose (640377) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361670)

A lot of new physics does seem to be increasingly theoretical and "out there" on the proverbial limb


All new physics is out on the proverbial limb. Galileo's ideas were so outrageous at the time that the church had him outcast from society (IIRC).

It doesn't take that much of an open mind to consider these new (or old) theories based on new facts. But, I'm glad the majority don't follow such theories, because most people tend not to leave things in the grey ("THIS theory is RIGHT") otherwise, actual scientific progress would be severely hindered, as people would become quite disheartened, and possibly ANGRY at science.

It would be good for the practical lot to catch up with the theoretical lot...


The border between "Practical" and "Theoretical" isn't very black-and-white either. Often theoretical sceince leads to very practical applications (as in the case of forward error correction, originally just mathematics) and practical turns out quite sour (as in the Wankel(?) engine).

Just my 2c

Re:non-physical physics (3, Informative)

EnVisiCrypt (178985) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362110)

Actually, Galileo was excommunicated, which at the time was almost as bad as being driven out entirely. In addition, he was placed on house arrest and was confined there until he died, refusing to recant his observations.

Great man.

Re:non-physical physics (2, Informative)

beanyk (230597) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362489)

The thing is, he did recant. That doesn't mean he changed his mind, but he did change his official line. There's a writeup here [firenze.it] , for instance.

Re:non-physical physics (2, Interesting)

grogzilla (688149) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361763)

Understanding dark energy and determining the universe's ultimate fate will require further observations.


I'd say this is a bit flimsier limb to stand on. For a bit of perspective, let's consider the sheer mountains of daily empirical data that a meteorologist has to work with, and yet the "ultimate fate" of weather can rarely be predicted more than a few days in advance.

Of course the size of the system does come into play, and the scope of the effects being observed. It may be far easier to understand the largest of systems (universa level) than the smallest (sub-quantum level), and the mid-point (human-size events) may be the most difficult. Just thinking out loud here, IANAAP (i am not an astro-physicist)

But does anyone else find at least mildy amusing, the apparent ease with which such a whimsical statement is made?

Re:non-physical physics (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361976)

(hint: ohhh WAAAY ohhh, ummm barrray :-)
I think you mean: vayo a-o, a home va ya ray, vayo a-rah, jerhum brunnen g [myrealm.co.uk] .

Re:non-physical physics (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362411)

Indeed I do, but (blush) had neglected to look it up, just did it from memory :-)

Glad to see one person got it, anyway :-)

ATB,
Simon.

Dark Matter and Ether (3, Insightful)

GerritHoll (70088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361586)

I find it strange that scientists 'believe' in dark matter. The main reason for the hypothesis that dark matter exists, is that otherwise those huge systems of galaxies don't obey Newton's laws. However, throughout the 20th century, there have been numerous occasions where Newton either was proven wrong or where fields of science were found where his laws weren't applicable: ether didn't exist, at nanoscale Newton's laws don't apply (quantum mechanics), at very high velocities they don't either (relativity), and in very complex systems Newton can't be used (chaos). Why would it be so strange if systems with enormous scales and very small accelarations would not obey Newton's laws? It does feel a bit like Ether to me to introduce a form of matter/energy which has never been measured at all...

I think dark matter doesn't exist. It can be useful in the models, like ether could, but nothing more than that.

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (5, Interesting)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361647)

and in very complex systems Newton can't be used (chaos)

Hang on a moment; I thought the Lorenz attractor (which is the canonical example of chaos) was based on a system obeying Newtonian mechanics.

Why would it be so strange if systems with enormous scales and very small accelarations would not obey Newton's laws?

This is the line of thinking which led Mordechai Milgrom to propose Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) in the 1980s. MOND posits that Newtons second law (F=ma) is modified when the acceleration is very small. It is able to "explain" the unusual rotation curves of galaxies, without the need to invoke dark matter. It can also explain phenomena which the dark matter hypothesis can't, such as the Tully-Fisher relationship observed in the surface brightness of galaxies.

However, its important to remember that MOND cannot be considered a physical theory; it is more of an empirical modification of known physical laws (like the Lorentz transformation was), which still awaits a physical explaination.

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (3, Informative)

barawn (25691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362092)

It can also explain phenomena which the dark matter hypothesis can't, such as the Tully-Fisher relationship observed in the surface brightness of galaxies.

The Tully-Fisher relation has been explained by dark matter for some time. You can find a brief derivation in Carroll & Ostlie p. 1002, for instance. There's no need to invoke MOND at all - it just comes from the fact that the luminosity is proportional to the maximum velocity to the 4th power, which you can get by using the expression for total mass contained within the galaxy derived from rotational velocity curves.

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362235)

There's no need to invoke MOND at all - it just comes from the fact that the luminosity is proportional to the maximum velocity to the 4th power, which you can get by using the expression for total mass contained within the galaxy derived from rotational velocity curves.

I was under the impression that dark matter needs fine tuning to explain Tully-Fisher, while MOND needs no further parametric adjustment beyond that used to fit rotation curves. That is the point I was (poorly) trying to make.

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (1)

ysachlandil (220615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362190)

>However, its important to remember that MOND cannot be considered a physical theory;
>it is more of an empirical modification of known physical laws (like the Lorentz transformation was),
>which still awaits a physical explaination.

And dark matter (or energy for that matter) is not an empirical modification of the known universe to suit the known physical laws?

At least MOND doesn't require huge amounts of matter and energy that nobody can detect to 'fix' the universe...

--Blerik

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (2, Interesting)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361663)

Oh man... where to begin.

You say they 'believe', then call it a hypothesis - one is faith the other is science.

"otherwise those huge systems of galaxies don't obey Newton's laws" - As the story notes, the proposed dark matter is related to Einstein's cosmological constant. Now as to why Einstein 'believed'(sic) in it? Because that is what observation showed. The question here is why and is it truly constant.

"It does feel a bit like Ether to me to introduce a form of matter/energy which has never been measured at all." - Now that I can agree with.

In my usual agnostic way, I am certain that dark matter might exist.

Q.

Re:Dark Matter or Dark Energy? (1)

ImWithBrilliant (741796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361738)

we're well out of the Big Bang, there's quite a difference.

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (4, Informative)

snake_dad (311844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361814)

The article is about dark energy, not dark matter. Those are two distinctly different things. Dark matter is simply matter that has not been found, but that astronomers assume must exist to explain certain gravitational behaviour as observed in galaxies. AFAIK there is not much controversy over wether dark matter is real or not. Dark energy however is theorized to be a force that acts opposite to gravity, and that could explain why the rate of expansion of the universe seems to be increasing.

IANA astronomer, but that's what I've understood from the stuff that I've read about it. Pop science ofcourse because the math is way over my head.

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361949)

It is not that easy, relativistic an quantummechanical principles are accounted for in the theories. One can predict when to use which theory to use and what simplifications can be done in order to achieve accurate calculations. Rotation of galaxies lies well in the realm of classical and relativistic mechanics.

Another point of clarification, chaos theory is not in contradiction to Newton/classical mechanics, it is a matter of analytical integrability, so chaos theory is actually a theory that uses Newtons laws and shows it accuracy in its realm very well.

b.t.w. IAAP (Physicist)

Re:Dark Matter and Ether (2, Interesting)

mmusson (753678) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361966)

I find it strange that scientists 'believe' in dark matter. ... I think dark matter doesn't exist.

Dark matter does not necessarily mean exotic matter. There have already been detections [space.com] of white dwarf stars at the edges of a galaxy. These are just very very dim stars. This discovery means that a significant part of the mass attributed to dark matter could be ordinary matter in dead stars that are no longer radiating at currently detectable levels.

There's more to dark matter... (4, Informative)

jpflip (670957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362389)

You're right, the natural step when we learn that the universe doesn't obey Newton's laws should be to try to modify Newton's laws, not to imagine that there is a magic 95% of the universe with funny unobserved properties. The thing is that this isn't the only evidence for dark matter. There are a number of different lines of evidence which lead to the same conclusion - the orbital behaviors of galaxies and their clusters, the adundances of various light elements in the universe, the behavior of the cosmic microwave background, x-ray emission from clusters, etc. It turns out that no matter how hard we try, we can't modify Newton's laws to get the right answer to all of these. Gravitational lensing (the bending of light by the mass of distant galaxies and clusters) is really impressive in this regard - modifying Newton's laws (and general relativity) in the desired ways should have essentially no effect on it, and it definitely looks like there's dark matter (and even allows us to map its distribution). Dark matter really seems like the SIMPLEST answer, from the point of view of someone who knows the data! Dark energy was the subject of the article, however, and that's quite a bit different. As of right now, I'd say that we DON'T have very convincing evidence that this isn't just a modification of general relativity. All of our particle physics-related ideas seem far too complicated. Oh, and chaotic systems still obey the laws of classical physics - the systems are just so complicated that knowing how the individual atoms are behaving is not very helpful for predicting the behavior of the macroscopic system.

Correct me if I'm wrong (1, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361592)

But the "Cosmological Constant" Einstein was credited for theorizing on was Ether, and eventually disproved the existance of Ether himself by somehow using the earths revolution around the sun.

While this may be a completely seperate idea, it definitely appears that the author is mixing these two (Dark Energy and Ether) Einstein theories.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (2, Insightful)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361676)

Prior to Kepler, scientists believed their was a planet Vulcan that shared Earth's orbit but the two were 180 degrees apart. Vulcan had the same mass as Earth and without the planet, scientists couldn't fit Earth's orbit into the Law of Universal Gravity.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (5, Informative)

GammaRay Rob (452271) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361684)

You're wrong. Aether was thought to be a physical fluid whose ripples were the basis of the wave-like nature of light. This was proven not to be so by Michelson and Morely, who showed that the speed of light was the same no matter if it were going with or against the aether (which was presumably flowing past the moving Earth). Dark energy is a field, like light or gravity, which presumably has no preferred frame of reference (like light or gravity).

The article you must read (2, Funny)

pikkumyy (445891) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361606)

It seems this "dark energy" is quicker, easier and more seductive.

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Everything's nonsense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361607)

The end of the unverse makes me depressive. Nothing that is eternal. No sense in building up things, inventing, scientific discoveries and everything. Just nonsense. Well, if you do not believe in god or are at least agnostic.

Well, back to my OSS/FS projects to gain fame in this dark world :)

Dark Matter? My god... (1, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361615)

.. it's full of Goths! I hereby dub the matter 'Mopotronium

Dark Matter conclusively identified... (1, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361654)

It's like regular matter, only it has a goatee. I thank yew.

Einstein was wrong anyway (4, Insightful)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361696)

It wasn't the introduction of the cosmological constant per se that Einstein thought of as his greatest blunder, it was the failure to realize and predict that the Universe is expanding. The cosmological constant he had there to get a static universe, and that's bad. Also, the cosmological constant isn't Evil, it comes rather naturally from solving the equations. I never got as far as actually doing that, but I followed a back-of-envelope solution once, and it comes out sort of like an integration constant. I think of it as a natural parameter that should be constrained by observations just like any other parameter, and I see no particular reason why it should be 0.

Re:Einstein was wrong anyway (4, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361927)

Actually, the cosmological constant can result in an expanding universe.

Re:Einstein was wrong anyway (3, Interesting)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362392)

This whole "Eistein was right after all" angle is misinformed. He wanted a static universe because that was the historic conception of the universe. His own science didn't allow for it, but he wrangled an equation for one out of it anyway. Turns out he was wrong, is wrong, and will always have been wrong. Einstein's motivation for putting in the cosmological constant was ideological, not observational -- and that's a recipe for Dumb Science.

Dumb Science isn't "right after all," no matter how much you respect the guy who came up with it.

Re:Einstein was wrong anyway (2, Informative)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362555)

This whole "Eistein was right after all" angle is misinformed. He wanted a static universe because that was the historic conception of the universe. His own science didn't allow for it, but he wrangled an equation for one out of it anyway. Turns out he was wrong, is wrong, and will always have been wrong. Einstein's motivation for putting in the cosmological constant was ideological, not observational -- and that's a recipe for Dumb Science.

Not exactly. Einstein didn't "put in" the cosmological constant; it emerged naturally from the derivation of the equations of General Relativity. But the theory did not provide its value; it was a free variable. It needed to be given some value, and there was at the time no firm observational data to do that. The mathematically simplest course would have been to arbitrarily assume that it had a value of zero, effectively "getting rid of it." That would have implied an expanding universe, and Einstein would have scored quite a coup by predicting the expansion well before the data came in to confirm it. Instead, Einstein chose to assume a value that brought his theory into line with the then-current astrophysical view of the universe--i.e. that it was static. So Einstein didn't "put it in;" he merely chose not to arbitrarily take it out. Yet another possible value of the cosmological constant yields an accelerating expansion. But that is different from the value that Einstein assumed. So the only sense in which the "Einstein was right after all" statement applies is that the correct value may not be zero, after all.

Duh! (4, Funny)

UncleBiggims (526644) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361698)

I doesn't take an Einstein... oh wait. Nevermind.

Are you Corn Fed? [ebay.com]

No info... (2, Funny)

eclectic4 (665330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361706)

...in that article. I was hoping for a hint as to what dark energy is, but this article simply states possible changes in theory.

At the end it states, "Understanding dark energy and determining the universe's ultimate fate will require further observations." Well great. Didn't we know this already? *sheesh!* Thanks for "almost" nothing....

No, really? (4, Funny)

TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361742)

From the article:
"Riess' team uses Hubble to find stars that exploded when the universe was about half its present age. A certain type of these supernovas, as they are called, shine with a known brightness."

Supernovas, you say? Wow, what a fascinating new concept for readers of Space.com!

I mean, come on!

Dark energy (1, Redundant)

rotciv86 (737769) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361767)

Could this possibly be the counter force to grvity?

Re:Dark energy (1)

jpflip (670957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362317)

Dark energy certainly acts a bit like antigravity, but it's generally not believed to be quite that. We really have no clue of its exact nature, however - we just know vaguely what it does. The usual suggestion (which dates in some ways back to Einstein, though he never guessed at dark energy) is that it's a cosmological constant - an additional term in the equations of general relativity. Others suggest it's a new kind of particle field. Either way, it has negative pressure. The details of negative pressure are a little confusing, but the gist is that if dark energy is the dominant form of energy/matter in the universe, the universe will expand nearly exponentially rapidly. It's not really an antigravity force, but it is really strange.

Filling the blank? (3, Funny)

cabazorro (601004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361769)

I get the feeling that we are trying to fill
a gap but with what???
Observer: Look at those galaxies..they are moving appart.
Braniac: Yes, that's because the big-bang long long time ago.
Observer: They look very old and they appear to move slower as they drift compared to the young galaxies.
Braniac: Of course, they are loosing momentum. But don't be deceived, at some point all universe is going to loose cohesion and become rippi-bits!
Observer: Howbout that cluster over-there? Those galaxies are quite old and they are driftin faster than the young ones! What gives??
Branica: Er ur..is dark energy pushing them appart, dark energy is spreading the galaxies.
Observer: And the big bang.
Braniac: yes, that too ..explosions and ever
present dark-energy.
Observer: Far out!
Braniac:(scratching her head and punching madly
at her calculator and giving a big sight of
frustration)yeah, riveting.

We don't know Jack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361792)

But at least we are sorta kinda maybe learning a little to go off of until proved wrong again. There is much more to learn that what we can even see/theorize from our little speck of dust.

But maybe this explains the idiot moderations on /.?

They were wrong ?? (0)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8361818)

"This would lead to a "big crunch" where the universe ultimately implodes. "This looks like the least likely scenario at present," says Riess."
This can't be, coz' even Red Dwarf had an episode about that [nildram.co.uk] !

http://www.ebtx.com/ntx/ntx16.htm (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361909)

Whats more likely? This mysterous dark energy exists and compromises 70% of the mass/enery of the universe even though we can't see it anywhere locally, or our theories are wrong?

I suggest reading www.ebtx.com on the nature of dark energy. This guy is right, or at least close.

Matter attracts matter; this we know. The rest of the theory explains that space attracts space, and matter repels space. Matter and space are polar opposites (as well as logical opposites).

Einstein wasn't relative enough in his theories. He declares C as constant and bases all other observations off it, when in fact you can change all the physical constants continuously and arrive at the same results. If C changed, as long as h, G, and about 18 other 'constants' also changed, we couldn't tell, from our point of view.

Is the universe expanding, or are we all shrinking? From a relative point of view there is no difference.

Re:http://www.ebtx.com/ntx/ntx16.htm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362676)

I think you are mixing up dark matter and dark energy.

Cereal Energy!! He's BAAAAACK!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8361937)

To Whom It May Concern (other than myself):

Hi. I have been a huge fan of cereals of all kinds for my whole life. Sometimes I eat it for all three meals of the day, or live on it exclusively for weeks, or put it in my underpants to keep me feeling fresh (and also as an emergency back-up snack). I cereasly love it.

I am especially fond of a lot of your cereals like Boo Berry and Trix and Chex and Lucky Charms and Cookie Crisp. My absolute favorite is Fruity Pebbles though, which I believe is a Post cereal. Maybe you guys should make something that tastes like Fruity Pebbles except manages not to have Fred Flintstone's ugly mug all over the box. Yabba Dabba Eww. Anyway, my point is that I like a lot of your cereals and so I am personally concerned with their condition. And, quite frankly, lately I've been a bit worried.

Let's start with my favorite cereal of yours - Boo Berry. I love Boo Berry... at least I think I do... actually, I know it used to be my favorite cereal but I haven't had any in years so I've kind of forgotten what it tastes like - because it's not in any stores! No stores in my area carry it. I checked on your website and apparently you still make it; you even offer it for sale. Unfortunately I can't justify buying it for the $6.74 for a twelve ounce box price. You do offer buying it in a case instead of a four pack, which would drop the price to $4.71 a box, but that is still unreasonable and would also require me to spend an entire week's pay on a large shipment of haunted cereal. My girlfriend would kill me (if I didn't overdose on blue food coloring first).

I think I have a solution to this dilemma. I know you can't force any businesses to carry your cereals and I know that you can't afford to sell them direct for less than $4.71 and still have money left over to pay for upkeep on Count Chocula's castle, hiring someone to build 400 mind-numbing advertisements disguised as crappy kids games for youruleschool.com, and keep your CEOs rolling in golden Kix. So here's what you should do - open up your own stores all across the country. You've already got one in Mall-of-America, now put one in every mall in America. Even if you don't sell much cereal (and you'd sell a lot, trust me) it would be great advertising. You can sell t-shirts with nifty slogans like "Frosted Wheaties: When You're Too Damn Lazy To Put Sugar On Your Own Wheaties!" or "Honey Nut Chex: It Rhymes With 'Funny Butt Sex' For A Reason!" and other stuff which is even more great advertising plus it makes money up front. I can see it now, picture a young child in the mall with its mother...

YOUNG CHILD: Mommy! Mommy! Look at all the pretty colored cereal!

MOTHER: Oh Honey, you know cereals like that are just a result of the global dentist/cereal/porn conspiracy, we've been through this a million times...

YOUNG CHILD: Awww...

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT comes out of the store.

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT: You know Ms. Averagemother, all of our cereals are fortified with titanium plating and deflector shi... er, essential vitamins and minerals; and they are a part of this complete breakfast.

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT whips out a complete breakfast on a tray.

MOTHER: Well... I guess a few minutes couldn't hurt...

YOUNG CHILD: Gee, thanks mom!

YOUNG CHILD runs in followed slowly by MOTHER. Group of scantily clad dentists appears and drags MOTHER into back room. YOUNG CHILD transforms into a cartoon and spends eternity trying to steal Lucky's Charms and torturing the Trix Rabbit by hogging the cereal.

Now, on to my next suggestion. You need to do something about Cheerios. Really, they're awful. Yes they are good for my heart, but this is overshadowed by the fact that they taste like my butt.

On the other hand, a cereal that already tastes great is Lucky Charms. I would like you to address some concerns I have about the marshmallows, though. I remember that when I was a lad, there were only five different marshmallows in Lucky Charms: pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, and blue diamonds. I could find at least a tenuous reason for all those symbols to be 'lucky charms' other than the pink hearts. What is so lucky about a pink heart? And by messing with the marshmallows you've only made the cereal even more unlucky overall. Purple horseshoes were a really great addition, good color choice and they are lucky, but red balloons? Anyway, rather than discuss each marshmallow change in the cereal's history individually, let's look at the marshmallow situation currently:

1. Shooting star. You've modified the orange stars and changed them into shooting stars. I can get into this. Shooting stars are way lucky. Good move.

2 and 3. Pot o' gold and rainbow. It seems redundant to me to have a raindow and the pot o' gold which one finds at the end of it. One of these should be dismissed with prejudice.

4. Red balloon. Ugh. Sad movie, sadder marshmallow. Please explain to me why a red balloon is lucky. You can't - because they aren't. Remove this shit from my cereal and fire the jackass who thought it was a good idea.

5. Lucky's hat. You changed the four-leaf clover into some midget's out of fashion hat. I realize how cool it is that you guys have the technology now to make two-tone marshmallows, but just because you can doesn't mean you should. Change this back to the clover.

6. Pink heart. This one is hard to call. I guess it should stay given that it's the only one of the original four marshmallows left, and I guess it's lucky to have a heart because otherwise you'd need to pump your blood manually which would be awfully dull and very time consuming.

7. Purple horseshoe. The best one in the box.

8. Blue moon. Not bad in and of itself, but there was no need to combine the blue diamond and yellow moon into this single marshmallow. Why did you bother? To make room in the marshmallow factory for the 'red balloon' machine? Come on.

So, for maximum luckiness, this is how Lucky Charms should be. Shooting stars, rainbows (or pots o' gold, but I like rainbows better because they remind me of homos), green clovers, pink hearts, purple horseshoes, yellow moons, and blue diamonds. This would also reduce the total number of different marshmallow types from eight to seven - which is a far luckier number.

Hey, Trix is too sweet and pointy now. I remember it being tasty and pleasantly round at one point. Fix my Trix you dix.

And lastly, I feel I have to bring up a subject that may be hard for you to discuss. We need to talk about what happened to some of your spokespeople.

For instance, the current spokesman for Cinnamon Toast Crunch is Wendell the baker (why making cinnamon toast requires a baker is a question I won't even bring up right now). I clearly remember two other bakers, Bob and a chap with the unfortunate name of Quello, helping Wendell out (why making cinnamon toast required three bakers is another question I won't even bring up right now). Now they are gone. What happened to them? My theory is that Wendell collaborated with someone in your company to have them rubbed out so he could get a large raise and be given the chance to market his inferior French Toast Crunch. But maybe it's something more innocent than that, like they were run over by an out of control cookie cop truck, ground up, and made into delicious cinnamon-sugary sprinkles.

Speaking of cookie cop trucks, Cookie Crisp was once sold by a crafty crook, his canine companion, and a cookie cop who never failed to capture the chocolate chip crazed criminals. Now only Chip the cookie dog remains, and he has apparently given up his life of crime and become a big silly wussbag. I am disturbed by the lack of information about what happened to the other two. Was the crook arrested? If so, why is the dog still free? If he was let off on the basis of being a dog, why did the cop throw him in jail with his master in the commercials? What happened to the cop? Is he still on the force? Why isn't he after snickerdoodle thieves or something?

Those are the ones I've personally noticed go missing, but I've talked to some people inside your organization and they had disturbing news. A lot of names were mentioned: Cheeri O'Leary, Ice Cream Jones, Mr. Wonderfull, Waldo the wizard, Major Jet... the list goes on and on.

Please explain these disappearances or I may be forced to contact the authorities.

Your biggest fan,

Johnathan Feruken

P.S. Hey, whatthefuck is up with Kaboom, anyway? That's some scary crap!

A more detailed article on the same: (2, Informative)

deego (587575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362148)

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/big_rip_0303 06.html> more on buig rip Here

"the repulsive force" (1)

panurge (573432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362219)

is how it's described in the article. I think that's a bit unfair. It can't help its appearance.

mod Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362498)

arounD are iN need

The main problem with Dark Energy... (2, Informative)

little1973 (467075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362609)

...is that no mainstream theory predicts its existance. It is based solely on observations. Scientists try to bend/modify current theories in order to include Dark Energy.

Many formulas and theories are based on observations, however, a good theory not only describes current observations, but predicts things which are not observed, yet. Like Einstein's theory predicted time-dilation, the curvature of space-time, etc. and gave a solution to the orbit of Mercur (which Newton's theory was unable to explain).

A new theory may be needed to include the Dark Enegy from its foundations or to explain these phenomenas without Dark Energy.

you FAIL it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362611)

dead. It is a dead and exciting; series of exploding too much formality least I won't The project is in I won't bore you confirming the problem; a few Something that you schemes. Frankly give BSD credit How is the GNAA future. The hand a sad world. At Continues toChew profits without *BSD has steadily member. GNAA (GAY Give other people stupid. To the some of you havE to get involved in Satan's Dick And filed countersuit, other members in If desired, we But it's not a ransom for their need to join the survival prospects
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