||Dark Energy's 10th Anniversary
Part III, The aftermath: confirmation and exploration
Contact: Paul Preuss, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saul Perlmutter announced the Supernova Cosmology Project's evidence
for a cosmological constant at the annual meeting of the American
Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C., on January 8, 1998. On
February 18 of that year, Gerson Goldhaber and Perlmutter discussed the
SCP evidence at the UCLA conference on Dark Matter in Los Angeles,
where Alexei Fillipenko announced similar results from the High-Z
Supernova Search Team.
they had observed was the accelerating expansion of the universe,
presumably caused by Einstein's cosmological constant (lambda).
Initially a purely mathematical term in the equations of General
Relativity — which Einstein later dropped — theorists by the end of the
20th century had come to regard the cosmological constant as a
manifestation of the vacuum energy described by quantum mechanics.
a straightforward formulation indicates that the vacuum energy is
hundreds of orders of magnitude too powerful to account for observed
cosmic acceleration. Thus acceleration was, as theorist Frank Wilczek,
then at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, put it, "maybe
the most fundamentally mysterious thing in basic science."
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