|Main Entry:||dark energy|
|Part of Speech:||n|
|Definition:||in physics, a hypothetical force that affects the behavior of photons, counteracts gravity, and causes the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate|
|Example:||Dark energy was first proposed by Albert Einstein to balance gravitation.|
A form of energy hypothesized to reside in the structure of space itself, responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe. Dark energy theoretically counterbalances the kinetic energy of the universe's expansion, entailing that that the universe has no inherent curvature, as astronomical observations currently suggest. Dark energy appears to account for 73 percent of all the energy and matter in the universe. See also big bang.