Dark Energy and Dark Matter Comparison

Dark matter and dark energy are mysterious forces present in the universe. Dark matter makes up about 27% of the universe. It is thought to be made up of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) or axions, but these particles have not yet been directly detected. Dark matter does not interact with light or other forms of electromagnetic radiation, so it is invisible to us, therefore called as “dark” as it cannot be detected with any available detectors or instruments. Dark matter makes up most of the mass of galaxies and galaxy clusters and thought to responsible for the organization of galaxies.

Dark energy is an even more mysterious substance that makes up about 68% of the universe. It is thought to be a form of repulsive anti-gravity force that drives the expansion of the universe. The nature of dark energy is not known, but it is possible that it is a cosmological constant, which is a constant amount of energy that is present throughout the universe.

Difference between Dark Energy and Dark Matter
Even though both dark matter and dark energy are significant components of the universe, but they are still very poorly understood. Dark matter and dark energy are both invisible and have never been directly observed or detected.


Dark Matter

Dark Energy


Unknown subatomic particles

Unknown form of energy


About 5 times the density of normal matter

Very low density, much less than density of dark matter


Attracts other objects

Opposes the force of gravity

Effect on the universe

Slows the expansion of the universe

Accelerates the expansion of the universe

Amount in the universe



Distribution in the universe

Concentrated in galaxies and galaxy clusters

Uniform throughout space

Evidence for existence

Gravitational lensing, galaxy rotation curves, and the cosmic microwave background

Accelerated expansion of the universe

Proposed particles

WIMPs, axions, and sterile neutrinos

Cosmological constant, quintessence, and phantom energy

Current understanding

Very limited

Very limited understanding

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