June 26, 2024

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Researchers say there is a “cosmological flaw” in the theory of relativity and they know how to fix it

Researchers say there is a “cosmological flaw” in the theory of relativity and they know how to fix it

A strange “cosmic glitch” in gravity could explain the strange behavior of the universe at its largest scales, a new study shows. The theory of general relativity was first formulated by Albert Einstein in 1915, and remains the best and most accurate description of how gravity works on medium and large scales.

However, observations of massive clusters of galaxies bound by gravitationally interacting have revealed some “inconsistencies” suggesting that gravity, thought to be constant across all times and scales, can actually become slightly weaker at large cosmic distances.

And in studying that It has been published In the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, researchers describe this paradox as a “cosmic glitch” and say the proposed solution could help us understand some of the universe’s great mysteries.

“It’s like building a puzzle on a spherical surface and then putting the pieces on a flat table and trying to fit them together. At some point, the pieces on the table won’t fit together well, because you’re using the wrong frame. This mistake is like the fuse of a lit bomb. If it finally goes off, it will “They reveal a fundamental violation of Einstein’s equivalence principle (or Lorentz symmetry) that could point to radically different pictures of quantum gravity, the Big Bang, or black holes,” says Niajes Avsordi, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario Led the research team.


Einstein’s theory of general relativity is extremely good at describing the universe above quantum scales, and has predicted various aspects of the universe including black holes, gravitational lensing, gravitational waves, and the Big Bang.

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However, there are still some differences between theory and reality. First, attempts to measure general relativity to describe how gravity works on quantum scales lead to typically robust general relativity equations, which ultimately end up being incomprehensible nonsense.

Moreover, completing the current standard model of the universe requires the introduction of two mysterious additions known as dark matter and dark energy. They are thought to make up most of the contents of the universe, but both dark energy and dark matter have not been directly detected, and at the same time their existence fails to explain why our universe expands at different rates depending on where we look.

In response to these problems, the authors of the new paper came up with a simple proposal: modify Einstein’s theory for different distance scales. “The modification is very simple: we assume that the global gravitational constant varies on cosmic scales, compared to smaller scales like the solar system or galaxy. We call this a cosmological error,” Avsordi says.


According to the researchers, this rift creates changes in patterns found in the cosmic microwave background, the remaining radiation produced 380,000 years after the Big Bang, as well as the structure of the universe and its expansion. These adjustments seem subtle, but the conclusion is that the laws of gravity change on distance scales to a large degree.

The researchers said the existence of the rift could be confirmed by new observations of galaxies, such as the European Space Agency’s Euclid Space Telescope, the Dark Energy Spectrograph Analyzer, and the Simons Observatory. They say that these instruments will be able to make measurements of this error four times more accurately than is possible today, thus confirming or disproving their theory.

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However, some scientists say that a simple tweak to Einstein’s relativity may not be enough. In fact, it is possible that the discrepancies revealed by astronomical observations are signs that our understanding of the universe needs a complete reassessment.

“It’s not surprising that this new model fits the data a little better, but maybe that tells us something. It means we understand less than we thought. My belief is that instead of adding more new things, we need a new explanation,” says Scott Dundelson. “But no one has found anything that makes sense yet,” said Carnegie Mellon University Physics Department Chair, who was not involved in the study.