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Most of the energy in the universe consists of some form of dark energy that is gravitationally self-repulsive and that is causing the expansion rate of the universe to accelerate. The possible candidates are a vacuum energy density (or, equivalently, a cosmological constant) and quintessence, a time-evolving, spatially inhomogeneous component with negative pressure. In this review, we focus on quintessence and ideas on how it might solve the cosmic coincidence problem, how it might bedoi:10.1098/rsta.2003.1290 pmid:14667314 fatcat:i4tsyspcvzegtn7hnsq7y3rzoq