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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dark Matter and Dark Energy in simple terms.

After the invention of the telescope it was very well known that all bodies in space are moving away from each other. Based on that scientists theorised that if all bodies are moving away from each other as time goes forward, then if we go back in time there must be a point at which all the bodies were together. 

This is how the Big Bang theory came into existence. Scientists believed that the celestial bodies constantly moving away from each other at constantly reducing speeds. However in the 1990s it was discovered that the bodies are not only moving away from each other but they are moving away from each other faster and faster. 

This completely baffled the scientists. They were unable to figure out the source of energy from which the separation of this bodies is accelerating. They named the energy Dark Energy

Again it was found that in the universe the total amount of mass-energy is mostly composed of dark energy and dark matter. In fact ordinary matter and energy only account for 4.9% of the total mass energy in the universe. The rest is composed of dark energy(68.3%) and dark matter(26.8%).

When it was found that the orbital spin of galaxies is different from what it should be considering the amount of mass present in the galaxies. It was assumed that there existed some invisible matter in the universe. This invisible matter was named Dark Matter. The discovery of Dark Matter happened much before Dark Energy

No one ever saw dark matter or dark energy. They are only inferred through observations of space. Dark Matter does not seem to reflect electromagnetic waves, it only interacts through gravity. When it comes to Dark Energy, its the accelerated constant separation of different bodies in space which lead to its conceptualisation. 

Over here I have made an attempt to explain Dark Matter and Dark Energy to ordinary people in simplest possible terms. If it does encourage your scientific curiosity, lot more details is available online.

Kindly note that people do make a common mistake. They tend to mix up Dark Matter and Antimatter. Antimatter is negative matter and the gravitational effects are opposite to ordinary matter. Dark Matter's gravitational effects are same as ordinary matter. 

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