Definition

dark energy (quintessence)

Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

Dark energy, also called quintessence, is a mysterious energy or force that has been postulated by astronomers and cosmologists to explain recent observations suggesting that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate of speed. Dark energy affects the behavior of photon s (light particles) as they travel through space.

An exact definition of dark energy has eluded scientists. One description is that it is like gravity , but is repulsive (outward-pushing) rather than attractive (inward-pulling), and operates over a much larger scale than conventional gravity. The existence of dark energy is inferred from the apparent acceleration in the universe's expansion, and also from observed irregularities in the cosmic background radiation that many attribute to effects from a hypothesized Big Bang. The term Big Bang refers to the theory that a gigantic explosion took place approximately 12 billion (1.2 x 10 10 ) years ago, in which all the matter and energy in the known universe emanated from a single point or tiny primordial particle.

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • term boosting

    - Term boosting is the ability to assign higher importance to specific words in a search engine query. In Google, for example, advanced search options allow you to identify words that must be found i... (WhatIs.com)

  • greedy algorithm

    - A greedy algorithm is a mathematical process that looks for simple, easy-to-implement solutions to complex, multi-step problems by deciding which next step will provide the most obvious benefit. (WhatIs.com)

  • PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)

    - PARC is Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, located in Palo Alto, California, in the high-tech area that has become known as Silicon Valley. PARC was incorporated as an independent, wholly-owned s... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About dark energy (quintessence)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.