Could dark energy come from matter anti-matter pairs forming spontaneously and then annihilating?
Could dark energy be coming from the constant creation and annihilation of matter-anti matter pairs that form spontaneously in the vacuum of deep space?
No, you actually don't get any energy out of this process. The amount of energy that is released when matter and anti-matter annihilate is exactly the same amount of energy that is required to create the matter anti-matter pair in the first place! To "gain" energy, you would need to only have the annihilation step, which means you would need a pre-existing matter anti-matter pair, but that isn't a particularly common situation in the universe. Also, the energy that is produced during annihilation comes out in a very recognizable form: light! (specifically, high energy light, i.e. x-rays or gamma rays depending on the mass of the matter being annihilated) So it can't be the source of dark energy, because we would be able to detect it if a lot of it were out there.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- Could matter-anti-matter repulsion power the expansion of the universe?
- Could photons be dark matter?
- What's the difference between dark matter and dark energy?
- Could the Universe's dark matter be made up of black holes?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 23139 times since September 29, 2002.
Last modified: June 4, 2003 10:04:37 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)