Difference Between Dark Matter and Dark Energy


Primary Difference

Our universe is comprised of billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars, many planets, suns, moons and other cosmic materials. These stars produce so much energy that travels across the universe at the speed of light. Yet, whatever matter is known to us in the universe is only four percent of the total mass and energy of the universe. From the rest of the about twenty-one percent of it is the dark matter or invisible matter which releases no energy of itself but exerts a gravitational pull on all the normal matter or visible matter of the universe. Whereas dark energy is seventy four percent of the total mass of the universe and dark energy pushes or repels all the visible matter of the universe. They both are mysterious forces which the scientists are unable to find and research about. When scientists were studying about cosmic space they saw that the universe is expanding and after researching more they found about that a certain energy is stopping it to expand which they named Dark Matter which was causing a gravitational pull on the visible matter. This made the scientists think that eventually it will stop the expansion but when calculated they found that even after the pull it was expanding at a higher speed and found out a certain sort of energy, which they named Dark energy, is pushing against the gravity and they found that energy to be the highest. The particles which the dark matter and dark energy is made up of is still uncertain. They seem to be the competing forces in the universe and they both were forged in the big bang theory. The evidence that the dark matter is there because as calculated the visible matter does not possess that much gravitational force to hold all the galaxies together, so if the dark matter did not exist the galaxies would have collided into each other and would have been flying around rather than staying at a same place. On the other hand the expansion of the universe is caused by the dark energy because after the big bang the universe started to expand at a faster rate than before.

Comparison Chart

Dark MatterDark Energy
Definitiona hypothetical form of matter that is believed to make up 90 percent of the universethe unknown energy thought to make up about 70 per cent of the observed total in the universe
ExampleIs not visible to human eye in most casesthe simplest form of dark energy is a cosmological constant
ConceptDark matter attracts the gravitational forceDark energy repels the gravitational force.
WorkingDark matter holds all the galaxies togetherDark energy causes the universe to expand faster

Definition of Dark Matter

Dark matter is an unseen force that consists of subatomic particle that cannot be seen or detected, but it exerts a gravitational pull on all the visible matter of the universe. Dark matter is made up of around twenty one percent of the universe. Scientist have studied that dark matter exists due to the fact that the visible matter of our universe does not possess enough gravitational force to hold or align all the galaxies together. Dark matter is necessary for the holding and proper rotation of galaxies in their place or else the galaxies would be falling apart or colliding together and forming clusters. Dark matter is also responsible for creating small fluctuations in the cosmic space back in the early stages of our universe to create such a large scale universe which we see today. Dark matter is completely invisible to light and other electromagnetic radiations making it impossible to be detect and for scientists to research about it with the latest devices. Dark matter could also be responsible for the optical illusions that astronomers have observed.


Definition of Dark Energy

Dark energy is a phenomenon that is completely mysterious but scientists know that it is there because it causes the expansion of the universe. As researched by Albert Einstein that dark energy is not an empty space but it is a space which has its own energy. As this energy is a property of space itself so it does not shrink itself when it causes the universe to expand, in fact as the universe expands more energy or dark energy is created in the space, which as a result will cause the universe to expand faster and faster. Dark matter pushes the gravitational force outwards and shows itself on the universe as a whole. The particles which the dark energy is comprised are yet to be researched by the scientists. Dark matter is made up of seventy four percent of the mass of the universe.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Dark matter is twenty one percent of the mass and dark energy is seventy four percent of the mass of the universe.
  2. Dark matter attracts the gravitational force while dark energy repels the gravitational force.
  3. Dark matter holds all the galaxies together through gravity while dark energy causes the universe to expand faster.


Galaxy is a vast space where a lot is unknown to human beings. There are many terms related to astrology which confuses people who want to understand it more. Some of these are so similar that you end up thinking they mean the same. All in all, this article helps in making sure people are able to understand the differences between the two similar term.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss