Sichuan University professor Tian Ma, left, and IU Department of Mathematics professor Shouhong Wang have developed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy they believe could change our view of energy, gravitational interactions and the structure and formation of the universe.
I don't pretend to understand this but it sounds so promising. But if this is verified by experiment, we've entered a new era of understanding how the universe works.
Shouhong Wang, a professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Mathematics, and Tian Ma, a professor at Sichuan University, suggest the law of energy and momentum conservation in spacetime is valid only when normal matter, dark matter and dark energy are all taken into account. For normal matter alone, energy and momentum are no longer conserved, they argue.
While still employing the metric of curved spacetime that Einstein used in his field equations, the researchers argue the presence of dark matter and dark energy -- which scientists believe accounts for at least 95 percent of the universe -- requires a new set of gravitational field equations that take into account a new type of energy caused by the non-uniform distribution of matter in the universe. This new energy can be both positive and negative, and the total over spacetime is conserved, Wang said.
It is curved spacetime, along with a new scalar potential field representing the new energy density, and the interactions between the two that form the foundation for the new gravitational field equations.
Wang said negative energy produces attraction while the positive energy produces a repelling force fundamentally different from the four forces -- gravity, electromagnetism, the weak interaction and the strong interaction -- recognized in physics today.
"In a nutshell, we believe that new gravity theory will change our view on energy, gravitational interactions, and the structure and formation of our universe," Wang said. [emphasis mine]
Progress in science is always a good thing.