New study challenges ‘dark energy’ theory

New study challenges ‘dark energy’ theory

A team of Oxford University researchers led by Prof. Subir Sarkar has challenged the Nobel-winning theory that suggests the universe has been expanding at an accelerating rate driven by a strange substance called dark energy.

The theory in question was first proposed in the late 1990s after an analysis of Type Ia supernovae (thermonuclear explosion of dying stars) through NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

A new study involving an analysis of 740 Type Ia supernovae, 10 times more than the original sample size, suggested that the accelerated expansion theory falls well short of scientific accuracy.

Sharing findings of the new study, Sarkar said, “Evidence for accelerated expansion is, at most, what physicists call ‘3 sigma’. This is far short of the ‘5 sigma’ standard required to claim a discovery of fundamental significance.”

Noting that new theories are created as a result of better technologies and fresh data, Sarkar added that previous evidence suggesting the accelerating universe theory was all made under the scaffold of an assumed as well as unobserved model.

Findings of the new study published in the latest edition of the journal Scientific Reports.