South Pole Telescope Homes in On Dark Energy, Neutrinos |
Analysis of data from the 10-meter South Pole Telescope is providing new support for the most widely accepted explanation of dark energy — the source of the mysterious force that is responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe.
The results also are beginning to hone in on the masses of neutrinos, the most abundant particles in the universe, which until recently were thought to be without mass.
The data strongly support the leading model for dark energy, Albert Einstein’s cosmological constant — a slight modification to his theory of general relativity — even though the analysis was based on only a fraction of the SPT data collected and only 100 of the more than 500 galaxy clusters detected so far.
“With the full SPT data set, we will be able to place extremely tight constraints on dark energy and possibly determine the mass of the neutrinos,” said Bradford Benson, a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Chicago’s Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. continue reading