thescienceexplorer | What the heck is dark energy? Physicists have been trying to explain dark energy — the mysterious repulsive force that pushes everything in the universe apart — for years. And even though it makes up nearly 70 percent of all energy in the universe, the only reason we know it exists is due to its influence on other objects. It has never been directly detected.
But dark energy may play a hand in another fundamental quantity of physics. According to a recent paper published in the journal Physical Review E, a team of researchers have postulated that in some cases, dark energy might cause time to propagate forward.
When physicists were first peering into the depths of the cosmos, they expected to find that the universe was slowing down because of the collective gravity from all matter after the big bang. However, they discovered something rather surprising. Everything is speeding up.
As far as we know, the universe operates according to the laws of physics, and almost all the laws are time-reversible, meaning that things look exactly the same whether time runs backwards or forwards.
But why does time have an arrow pointing from the past to the present to the future?
It likely comes down to one very important tenet of physics that is not time-reversible — the second law of thermodynamics. It states that as time moves forward, the amount of disorder in the universe always increases. For this reason, it is currently accepted that the second law is the source of time’s arrow.