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If space is expanding, are more units of space being made, or are they getting “bigger”?


If you draw a sphere in space by putting test masses (at “rest”), or galaxies, all around its surface, then as the universe expands there are more cubic meters inside the sphere as time goes on.

But, a few remarks on your other comments:

– We do not as yet have evidence that space itself is quantized. That probably requires a unification (theoretical and experimental) of gravity and quantum mechanics.

– There is the possibility that the “dark energy” is indeed a “vacuum energy”, ie intrinsic to space and quanta, but that’s at the conjectural level since any computation gives a energy density (for the dark energy) that is 10^120 off the real answer. Even in cosmology, that’s a miss. But yes, in that model, there’s an energy density associated with every cubic meter of space, and as space expands there’s more energy. It turns out that that’s okay in General Relativity, because there is no requirement that the global energy be conserved in GR.

– The expansion of the universe is not “due to dark energy”… but we think that the acceleration of that expansion (ie speeding up with time) is due to dark energy.

– I believe (but would appreciate expert backup on this) that *if* space is quantized, then the expansion of space would require more bits of quantized space to be created, rather than expanding the size of the quantized bit. The latter idea seems like it would require time-evolution of fundamental constants in physics, which would lead to terrible time-dependence of all sorts of phenomena, which I very strongly suspect we can rule out given our observations of phenomena from long long ago (ie very distant objects, the plasma of the CMB, etc).