What Is Dark Energy? Physicists Aren't Even Sure : Short Wave Dark energy makes up almost 70% of our universe and is believed to be the reason the universe is expanding. Yet very, very little is known about it. To figure out what we do know — and what it could tell us about the fate of the universe, we talked to astrophysicist Sarafina Nance. She studies cosmology, a field that looks at the origin and development of the universe.

What Is Dark Energy? Physicists Aren't Even Sure

What Is Dark Energy? Physicists Aren't Even Sure

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/850006074/850413412" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Observations of the GOODS-North field are used to try to understand dark energy. P. Oesch/University of Geneva; M. Montes/University of New South Wales/ESA/NASA hide caption

toggle caption
P. Oesch/University of Geneva; M. Montes/University of New South Wales/ESA/NASA

Observations of the GOODS-North field are used to try to understand dark energy.

P. Oesch/University of Geneva; M. Montes/University of New South Wales/ESA/NASA

Dark energy makes up almost 70% of our universe and is believed to be the reason the universe is expanding. Yet very, very little is known about it. To figure out what we do know — and what it could tell us about the fate of the universe, we talked to astrophysicist Sarafina Nance. She studies cosmology, a field that looks at the origin and development of the universe.

Follow Maddie on Twitter @maddie_sofia.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez, edited by Geoff Brumfiel and fact-checked by Emily Vaughn.