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What is dark energy? Learn about the force we think accounts for three-quarters of the mass and energy in the known universe.

What is dark energy? Learn about the force we think accounts for three-quarters of the mass and energy in the known universe.

This Thursday, October 25, at 2 p.m. EDT, three physicists studying dark energy will answer your questions about dark matter, cosmology, and physics in #LabChat: What is Dark Energy?

Dark energy is certainly tough to wrap your head around. It's supposed to be driving the rapid (and accelerating) expansion of the universe. It's supposed to account for three-quarters of the mass and energy that exists in the universe.  It's also entirely theoretical, so it's neither been proven nor ruled out… yet. The researchers participating in this week’s #LabChat are peering to the edges of space with advanced telescopes to study this elusive and ubiquitous force.

Argonne National Laboratory physicist Steve Kuhlman will be tweeting from @Argonne. Kuhlman is the group lead for the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), a 570-million-pixel camera mounted onto a four-meter telescope in Chile expected to discovery hundreds of millions of new galaxies. Ask him about the supernova-finding filters they put on the DECam, theoretical physics, and the Big Bang. Read more in this recent article from Argonne: Dark Energy: Q&A with Steve Kuhlmann

FermiLab National Accelerator Laboratory physicist Marcelle Soares Santos will be tweeting from @FermiLabToday. Santos works at the lab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics as a member of the Dark Energy Survey collaboration. She was integral to the installation of the Dark Energy Camera in Chile. Ask her about gravitation lensing, dark energy’s effects on large scales, and the expanding universe. Read more about DECam’s ‘first light’ in this article: New Camera Sheds Light on Dark Energy

SLAC National Accelerator Lab research associate Debbie Bard will be tweeting from the Lab’s Twitter account, @SLAClab. Bard works in the laboratory's Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology developing the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a wide-field telescope to image faint astronomical objects to study the nature of dark energy through weak gravitational lensing techniques. Ask her questions about creating a 3D map of the Universe, the relationship between matter and antimatter, or anything else about the nature of dark energy. Read more about the LSST in this article: 3.2B Pixel Camera to Shed Light on Southern Sky

Can’t make it to the chat? Use #labchat in a tweet anytime between now and the Twitter chat, and the researchers will address your questions or comments. The conversation will be moderated by @energy, so even if you don’t use Twitter, you can e-mail your questions. We’ll pass them along during the chat. We will also pass along questions and comments posted on Facebook.