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Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe

Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe Ten years ago, the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating put in place the last major building block of the present cosmological model, in which the universe is composed of 4% baryons, 20% dark matter, and 76% dark energy. At the same time, it posed one of the most profound mysteries in all of science, with deep connections to both astrophysics and particle physics. Cosmic acceleration could arise from the repulsive gravity of dark energy—for example, the quantum energy of the vacuum—or it may signal that general relativity (GR) breaks down on cosmological scales and must be replaced. We review the present observational evidence for cosmic acceleration and what it has revealed about dark energy, discuss the various theoretical ideas that have been proposed to explain acceleration, and describe the key observational probes that will shed light on this enigma in the coming years. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics Annual Reviews

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References (203)

Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0066-4146
eISSN
1545-4282
DOI
10.1146/annurev.astro.46.060407.145243
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ten years ago, the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating put in place the last major building block of the present cosmological model, in which the universe is composed of 4% baryons, 20% dark matter, and 76% dark energy. At the same time, it posed one of the most profound mysteries in all of science, with deep connections to both astrophysics and particle physics. Cosmic acceleration could arise from the repulsive gravity of dark energy—for example, the quantum energy of the vacuum—or it may signal that general relativity (GR) breaks down on cosmological scales and must be replaced. We review the present observational evidence for cosmic acceleration and what it has revealed about dark energy, discuss the various theoretical ideas that have been proposed to explain acceleration, and describe the key observational probes that will shed light on this enigma in the coming years.

Journal

Annual Review of Astronomy and AstrophysicsAnnual Reviews

Published: Sep 22, 2008

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