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dark energy

An illustration of the cosmologists Wendy Freedman and Adam Riess debating the expansion rate of the universe at a recent meeting at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California.
cosmology

Cosmologists Debate How Fast the Universe Is Expanding

New measurements could upend the standard theory of the cosmos that has reigned since the discovery of dark energy 21 years ago.

Valeria Pettorino in the woods near CosmoStat
Q&A

An Italian Cosmologist Who Wanders in Dante’s Dark Wood

A scientist and programmer with a literary bent, Valeria Pettorino thinks multiple angles and diverse points of view are needed to unriddle the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Art for "Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory"
theoretical physics

Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory

A controversial new paper argues that universes with dark energy profiles like ours do not exist in the “landscape” of universes allowed by string theory.

Photo of Large Magellan Cloud rotating clockwise.
Abstractions blog

What Astronomers Are Learning From Gaia’s New Milky Way Map

A roundup of some of the most important discoveries gleaned so far from the Gaia space observatory’s new map of the galaxy.

Lede art for "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity"
astrophysics

Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity

New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Illustration: window showing dark matter map
cosmology

Scientists Unveil New Inventory of Universe’s Dark Contents

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.

Abstractions blog

Cookie-Cutter Supernovas Might Come in Different Flavors

Astronomers thought that all Type Ia supernovas shine with the same brightness, making them incredibly useful cosmic yardsticks. But uncertainty over what causes these explosions has led researchers to reconsider their assumptions.

Erik Verlinde by Ilvy Njiokiktjien for Quanta Magazine
gravity

The Case Against Dark Matter

A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles.

Quantized Columns

How Feynman Diagrams Almost Saved Space

Richard Feynman’s famous diagrams weren’t just a way to do calculations. They represented a deep shift in thinking about how the universe is put together.