Presenting the controversy: dark energy everywhere

23Oct10

Since 1998, articles about dark energy in journals and magazines have become very common. The diagram, taken from Horvath, who argues for a Kuhnian paradigm shift in modern cosmology (Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Modern Cosmology: The Case for a Kuhnian Paradigm Shift, by Horvath, in Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 5, no. 2, 2009), shows the number of journal papers containing certain terms in their titles from 1998 to 2005: red is the cosmological constant, blue is quintessence, a leading class of alternative dark energy models, and black is dark energy itself.

  

If we were to extrapolate out to 2010, I’m confident that we’d continue to see the exponential increase in articles about dark energy, with the increasing number of scientists jumping on the bandwagon in an attempt to reconcile the controversy. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a similar pattern in popular magazines; articles on dark energy are common, probably because of the increasing realisation of its importance to fundamental physics.

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