smooth plate in response to energy fluctuations in the vacuum of empty space. The attraction is known as the Casimir Effect, named for its discoverer, who, 50 years ago, was trying to understand why fluids like mayonnaise move so slowly. Today, evidence is accumulating that most of the energy density in the universe is in an unknown form dubbed dark energy. The form and genesis of dark energy is almost completely unknown, but postulated as related to vacuum fluctuations similar to the Casimir Effect but generated somehow by space itself. This vast and mysterious dark energy appears to gravitationally repel all matter and hence will likely cause the universe to expand forever. Understanding vacuum fluctuations is on the forefront of research not only to better understand our universe but also for stopping micro-mechanical machine parts from sticking together.
Note: An APOD editor will review astronomy images of 2009,
hosted by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York on Friday, January 8 at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC.
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Casimir effect - dark energy
Publications with words: Casimir effect - dark energy