Dark energy is the deus ex machina of cosmology, able to save even the most inflation-prone calculations from destruction or - worse - being provably wrong. But while we've been busy watching the X-energy apparently accelerating all of creation while hiding in plain sight, some believe it's responsible for much more than that. It didn't just save the universe - no, no, that's far too small scale - it saved INFINITE universes.
Scientists at Princeton and Cambridge say that most of the universe is regularly destroyed. It's space-time-twisted into black holes, in fact, which is about as utterly destroyed as you can get without pissing off Zeus. In each destruction cycle only a small seed of habitable space survives, which grows phoenix-like to provide a new universe due to the apparently all-powerful dark matter.
The model is based on M-Theory - an expanded limit of string theory with an extra dimension, making it only slightly less esoteric than studying the symbolism of Chopin's work in a universe where the Nazis won the war. I'm not saying that M-theory is poorly understood or developed, but they can't even agree on what the 'M' actually stands for. Seriously.
In this model, the universe is a region on a multidimensional membrane called a "brane", and it's only one of many. When these branes collide huge regions of our brane get bunched into extremely uninhabitable black holes, with only a small region of space left for us. Without dark energy to inflate these gaps, a few cycles of this would annihilate everything.
As with all string-theory siblings, it's an extremely interesting idea with less proof than the "Hitler shot JFK" theory, and the reasons for including dark energy sound suspiciously like "because our math doesn't work without it." Plus, since it deals in six hundred billion year timescales and the End of Almost Everything, it's slightly less measurable than a unicorn horn diameter.
Posted by Luke McKinney.
Dark Energy Phoenix Factor
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