Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Dark Energy and Other Dimensions

Name: Adrian
Status: educator
Grade:  9-12
Country: France
Date: Summer 2012


Question:
I have been reading about the growing evidence for dark energy and of the idea of it being a repulsive force. Could it not also be that matter in our universe is being "pulled" apart by an attraction from other dimensions "outside" it?


Replies:
Adrian,

I think this is a situation where we apply Occam's Razor. While it is certainly possible that the data we have on dark energy - which is still gathering evidence to support the hypothesis, we tend to look for "simpler" explanations that do not require additional conjectures that we do not have data to support. If we hypothesize an "other dimension" - then we have to find evidence for the influence of this other dimension (apart from what we are already trying to figure out - the movement of galaxies and the speed of objects as they enter larger vacuums of space). Occam's Razor would suggest that we have more data to support the current theory and is a more straightforward explanation than an other dimension. It may turn out that we will find evidence to support that theory, but for now, we don't.

Greg (Roberto Gregorius) Canisius College


Adrian

I guess that is a possibility.

All of this about dark matter/energy and extra dimensions are just some mathematical outcomes at present. Actual reality has yet to be discovered. Methods for testing these hypothesis have yet to be developed.

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart



Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: December 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory