Cosmologists Debate How Fast the Universe Is Expanding

In 1998, two teams of cosmologists observed dozens of distant supernovas and inferred that they’re racing away from Earth faster and faster all the time. This meant that — contrary to expectations — the expansion of the universe is accelerating, and thus the fabric of space must be infused with a repulsive “dark energy” that comprises more than two-thirds of everything. For this discovery, the team leaders, Saul Perlmutter of the Supernova Cosmology Project and Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess of the High-Z Supernova Search Team, won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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Quanta Magazine

Duration

18 min

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