Cosmologists don't usually take their lead from the animal kingdom. But a model that postulates the existence of a 'chameleon' particle — which would change its mass depending on its surroundings — is gaining attention.
A new paper claims to have spotted signs of this elusive particle, whose existence was first postulated in 2003 to explain the accelerating expansion of the Universe, which has been attributed to some unknown 'dark energy'. The changing mass of a chameleon particle would modify the range at which its force can act, thus possibly explaining why whatever causes the Universe's acceleration hasn't been detected on Earth. On Earth, the chameleon would be too heavy to create any noticeable force, but in the tracts of empty space, its effect would be huge.
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Dark-energy particle spotted?
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