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There may be an exotic form of dark energy lurking in the universe, and it could explain a stubborn discrepancy in measurements of the universe's expansion rate.
This so-called early dark energy might have existed in the universe’s infancy, then flickered out of existence soon after. That, in turn, would explain why expansion rates disagree.
Disagreement - Tension - CMB - Rate - Odds
This disagreement has been termed the "Hubble tension." Because the the CMB rate is at odds with other estimates, and since its calculation relies on cosmological models, it's thought that something must be missing from the model — such as new laws of physics or unknown types of matter.
A new paper, published June 4 in the journal Physical Review Letters, proposes that early dark energy could be the missing piece that altered the universe's early expansion rate. If so, this early dark energy would have subtly affected the way that CMB looks, explaining why the measured expansion is lower than expected. Future high-resolution observations of the CMB might be able to show if early dark energy really did exist in the young universe.
Role - Dark - Energy - Expansion - Rate
"The role of this early dark energy is to affect the expansion rate around 100,000 years after the Big Bang," Vivian Poulin, lead author on the new paper and researcher at Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, a division the French National Center for Scientific Research in France, told Live Science. "Back at that time, [early dark energy] would have accounted to up to 10% of the total energy density...
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