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An experiment to seek out dark energy, or the so-called "fifth force," has come up empty-handed, casting doubt over some theories related to the mysterious cosmic matter.
Dark energy is believed to be responsible for the expansion of the universe, counteracting gravity, and is considered to be the fifth force acting on matter, after gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. And while dark energy makes up around 68% of the universe, the force still has scientists scratching their heads.
Experiment - Scientists - Imperial - College - London
In the new experiment, scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom aimed to test the theory that dark energy is weaker when it is surrounded by other matter, such as planets, but stronger in a vacuum-like area, such as empty space. (That would mean dark energy operates opposite to how gravity works.) Using a tabletop setup in a London basement lab, the researchers placed a metal sphere the size of a marble and a single atom in a vacuum chamber to...
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