PYS: shift in cosmology/ _Science_ online

Kathryn Aegis (
Thu, 26 Feb 1998 19:16:10 +0000

If you have felt lately that the world was just moving 'too fast'
for you, you have company throughout the universe, according to the
High-z Supernova Search team, which reported a set of startling
measurements in today's _Science_ journal (for information on this
journal, see below) The team, working with Serl Perlmutter of the
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Brian Schmidt of the Mount
Stromlo, Alex Filippenko of the University of California, and
astronomers on the three largest continents, have been tracking
variations in the brightness of distant supernovae as they travel
further from Earth. They utilized the Hubble telescope and
observatories in Chile, Australia and Hawaii to conduct their
observations, and their measurements show an accelerated rate of
dimming, leading them to believe that the rate of expansion of the
universe has actually increased since its inception. Of course, to
account for an increase in the speed of expansion, a force must
counteract gravity, and the team has proposed that a countervailing
force that they are calling 'antigravity'. They stressed in a press
interview this morning that by the term 'antigravity' they do not
mean a force in exact opposition to gravity, but rather a force that
counteracts the effects of gravity.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL SCIENCE: _Science_ is published by the American
Association for the Advancement of Science and is available in print
form through membership in AAAS or in most American libraries. An
online version of _Science_ was inaugurated this year, and portions
of it can be accessed without a subscription fee by registering at
the following web site:

Also, on the related page
one can access the full text a series of essays on the topic of 'science
and society' written by authors such as Kevin Kelly, Stephen Gould,
and Daniel Janzen.