A pair of mathematicians -- one from Indiana University and the other from Sichuan University in China -- have proposed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy that alters Einstein's equations describing the fundamentals of gravity.
Shouhong Wang, a professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Mathematics, and Tian Ma, a professor at Sichuan University, suggest the law of energy and momentum conservation in spacetime is valid only when normal matter, dark matter and dark energy are all taken into account. For normal matter alone, energy and momentum are no longer conserved, they argue.
While still employing the metric of curved spacetime that Einstein used in his field equations, the researchers argue the presence of dark matter and dark energy -- which scientists believe accounts for at least 95 percent of the universe -- requires a new set of gravitational field equations that take into account a new type of energy caused by the non-uniform distribution of matter in the universe. This new energy can be both positive and negative, and the total over spacetime is conserved, Wang said.