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Bearing in mind the provisions of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, which decrees that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, all the energy in the Universe must have been there at the time of the Big Bang. Dark energy began to accelerate the expansion about 5 billion years ago, but in what form was it stored before it mysteriously began to manifest itself?

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    $\begingroup$ The simple answer is that in General Relativity, energy is not conserved on cosmological scales. See this physics.stackexchange question $\endgroup$ – Peter Erwin Jun 10 '19 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ The question is a bit "unfair" seeing as we don't know what "dark energy" is, or if it is even real vs. a new set of cosmological theories as different from GR as GR is from Newtonian Mechanics. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jun 10 '19 at 17:28
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We don't really know enough about Dark Energy now let alone back then. We're not even entirely sure why there's so much conventional matter versus antimatter, even though logically there should be the same amount of each.

The 1st Law of Thermodynamics is seemingly true for Generalistic observations, but when we look at Quantum levels, even a perfect vacuum has particles and antiparticles (and therefore energy) being created from nothing, before recombining into nothing. So the 1st Law of Thermodynamics isn't explicitly accurate for that scale

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  • $\begingroup$ If the Ist Law isn't accurate it can't be a law. The problem of the missing antimatter has always puzzled me,& I find the asymmetry between certain types of decay unconvincing. The vacuum energy explanations are also unconvincing;the Casimir effect can be explained without bringing virtual particles into the picture. $\endgroup$ – Michael Walsby Jun 10 '19 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ Given that the 1st Law was established back in 1850, a whole 24 years before the electron was discovered, and special relativity (Quantum stuff) was proposed by Einstein in 1905, I think we can give it a bit of slack. Besides, it's an observation, not a rule of the universe. Just because we humans have that's how it is based on our observations doesn't make it true. $\endgroup$ – Tanenthor Jun 10 '19 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ The real issue is that in GR, there is no simple "conservations of energy" on cosmological scales. This is entirely orthogonal to questions of energy conservation in QM. $\endgroup$ – Peter Erwin Jun 10 '19 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ Tanenthor,the !st Law has been updated &modernised several times since then. For example,it now includes matter as well as energy,because they are two different forms of the same thing,which wasn't known in the mid-19th century. $\endgroup$ – Michael Walsby Jun 10 '19 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Michael, it's still not a law. It's a reasonable statement based on knowledge at the time, along with a couple of updates. It's still general and doesn't work outside that generalist view. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Jun 10 '19 at 22:30

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