Dark energy is believed to pervade the essence of space and time, forcing a kind of "anti-gravity" that fits cosmologists' equations but that is otherwise a mysterious quantity.

"The problem is that we do not see dark energy because it doesn't emit light, so we cannot measure it by designing a new machine, a new telescope," explained Professor Marinoni.

"What we have to do is to devise a new mathematical framework that allows us to dig into this mystery," he told BBC News.