The Most Surprising Discoveries In Physics

Friday, July 28, 2023
by Clara Moskowitz


I think the accelerating expansion of the universe has to be a strong contender. I’ve read references published around 1990 that talk confidently about how we will soon use supernovae to measure the rate at which the expansion of the universe is decelerating and the curvature of the cosmos and how this will tell us about the ultimate fate of our universe (because closed matter-dominated universes undergo a ‘big crunch,’ while open ones expand forever)—very little of which applies to the dark-energy-dominated, spatially-flat cosmos that we appear to actually live in! I think this also qualifies because even with the benefit of hindsight, it still seems very surprising that the dark energy/cosmological constant has its measured value. —Tracy Slatyer

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