A theoretical possibility involving the decreasing uncertainty of measuring constants could point to a new, as-of-yet not understood material that COULD shake up human understanding of the laws of physics AND explain the so-called “Dark Energy” of the universe.
A mathematical discrepancy in the expansion rate of the Universe is now “pretty serious”, and could point the way to a major discovery in physics, says a Nobel laureate.
The most recent results suggest the inconsistency is not going away.
Prof Adam Riess told BBC News that an unknown phenomenon, such as a new particle, might explain the deviation.
The difference is found when comparing precise measurements of the rate obtained in different ways.
However, the statistics are not yet at the threshold for claiming a discovery,
Prof Riess, who is based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, was one of three scientists who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating.
This phenomenon was widely attributed to a mysterious, unexplained “dark energy” filling the cosmos.
…..Prof Riess has been using the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument on the Hubble telescope (installed during the last servicing mission to the iconic observatory) to help refine his measurements of the constant.
“The answer we get is 73.24. This is not very different to what people have gotten before measuring the Hubble constant. What is different is that the uncertainty has gotten quite a bit smaller,” he said here at the 231st American Astronomical Society meeting in National Harbor, just outside Washington DC.
“The uncertainty has been dropping progressively over time, while the value has not been changing very much.”