"Harvard physicist Cumrun Vafa is one of string theory’s strongest proponents. But this summer, other string theorists have been reeling from his latest conjecture, which might invalidate their ideas built on a decade-long assumption that dark energy is constant. Vafa’s work implies that dark energy’s value changes.

A non-constant dark energy is a consequence of Vafa and his collaborators’ attempts to apply string theory to a universe like ours—one where the very vacuum of space appears to have some innate energy. If his conjecture (and string theory itself) is true, dark energy, the mysterious stuff that seems to make up more than 70 percent of the universe’s total mass and energy and fuels its accelerated expansion, should be a changing force. But a constant dark energy has long served as a backbone to many string theorists’ ideas—paradoxically, a non-constant dark energy could be a mark of the theory’s success..."

Continue reading "String Theorists' Heads Bobble Over Potential Dark Energy Wobble" by Ryan F. Mandelbaum in *Gizmodo, *October 10, 2018. https://gizmodo.com/string-theorists-heads-bobble-over-potential-dark-en...