The term dark energy was first coined in 1998 when experts believed that they had discovered the mysterious substance.
It was thought that dark energy made up just over 68 per cent of all energy in the universe and permeated through space.
Experts believed that dark energy acted as a counter to gravity and was responsible for the universe’s ever accelerating expansion.
However, there has never been any solid proof of dark energy’s existence and a team of researchers are now saying that it may in fact be not real.
It was thought that dark energy made up 68 per cent of the universe
The research from Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary suggests that when astronomers were matching exact astronomical observations with models of the universe, they created a need for dark energy, but actually it is not needed to explain the universe’s expansion.
Instead the new work proposes that different regions of the universe expand at different rates depending on how matter is distributed.
Dark Matter was thought to act as a counter to gravity
Co-author Dr László Dobos said: “Einstein’s equations of general relativity that describe the expansion of the universe are so complex mathematically, that for a hundred years no solutions accounting for the effect of cosmic structures have been found.
“We know from very precise supernova observations that the universe is accelerating, but at the same time we rely on coarse approximations to Einstein’s equations which may introduce serious side-effects, such as the need for dark energy, in the models designed to fit the observational data.”
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Dark energy might not be real, say scientists
By constructing computer simulations that compare a standard cosmological model with one that only had dark matter – which is equally mysterious and accounts for all the unseen matter in the universe – and normal matter, they found that both act very similarly, suggesting that there is no need for dark energy.