Albert Einstein was the first to propose the concept of dark energy, which is still a mystery today. Scientists hope to learn more about the universe by shedding light on this phenomenon. The first evidence that black holes are the source of dark energy comes from recent observations.
Measurements from ancient and dormant galaxies show that black holes are growing larger than expected, which is consistent with Einstein’s theory of gravity. As a result, we may not need to add anything new to the equation for the universe to explain dark energy, as Einstein’s combination of gravity and black holes could be the source.
A team of 17 researchers, led by the University of Hawaii and including physicists from Imperial College London and STFC RAL Space, reached this conclusion. Their findings were published in two articles in The Astrophysical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Dr. Dave Clements, a co-author of the study from the Department of Physics at Imperial, said, “This is a really surprising result. We started off looking at how black holes grow over time and may have found the answer to one of the biggest problems in cosmology.”
Dr. Chris Pearson, another co-author from STFC RAL Space, added, “If the theory holds, then this is going to revolutionize the whole of cosmology because at last, we’ve got a solution for the origin of dark energy that’s been perplexing cosmologists and theoretical physicists for more than 20 years.”
Some physical laws that we take for granted do not apply at the cosmic scale. When we throw a tennis ball on Earth, for example, it eventually comes to a halt due to friction. However, because there is no gravity or air in space, the ball will continue to move until it collides with an obstacle. However, the universe does not follow this order. It has been expanding since the Big Bang, and the rate of expansion is increasing, implying that everything is accelerating away from everything else. This is difficult to explain because the gravitational force between all objects in the universe should be slowing the expansion of the universe, but it isn’t.
To account for this, it has been proposed that “dark energy” is responsible for pulling objects apart more strongly than gravity. The new findings suggest that black holes consistently gain mass by containing vacuum energy, making them a source of dark energy and negating the need for singularities to form at their centers.