A group of scientists has created a computer simulation of the universe to test an alternative theory to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Their study revealed that galaxies could still form in the Milky Way universe with modified laws of gravity, suggesting that relativity theory is not the only way to explain the role of gravity in the evolution of the universe.
Physicists at Durham University in England created the computer simulations using a leading alternative model for gravity called "f (R) gravity," also known as "chameleon theory," and the behavior of gravity as a function of gravity Environment changed. The simulations showed that the modified gravitational model can still lead to the formation of galaxies.
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"Modified theories of gravitation, including [the] Chameleon Theory, has been studied by the community for a while, and many of its predictions were known." Baojiu Li, physicist at the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University and co-author of the new study, Space.com said. "However, the majority of these earlier studies were carried out with a critical simplification ̵
One of the unanswered questions in cosmology is the reason why the universe expands, Li said, and other models have tried to answer that question by introducing an unknown force called Dark Energy. This constant force in the theory of general relativity can explain the expansion of the universe, but includes a large amount of dark matter that can not be observed and remains unconfirmed.
Scientists believe that 68% of the universe is made up of dark energy, while dark matter accounts for 27%; Normal matter, which includes visible bodies like planets, stars, and galaxies, is about 5%.
"Alternatives to a cosmological constant that explain accelerated expansion through modification of the law of gravitation, such as f (R) gravitation, are also frequently considered, however, because little is known about dark energy," Li added added. 19659002] The study also examined the effects of modified gravity on supermassive black holes that release heat and material that burns on the gas needed to form stars, a major factor in galaxy formation.
However, the results indicate that even with different laws of gravity that reduce the amount of heat emitted by black holes, galaxies are still formed in the simulated model of the universe, just as in the actual universe.
"The study itself does not say anything about the validity of the general theory of relativity, but reveals possible things that one might consider when trying to distinguish the chameleon theory from the general theory of relativity h future data," said Li. [19659002TheresearchersplantotesttheirobservationswiththeSquareKilometerArrayagroupofradiotelescopesinAustraliaandSouthAfricascheduledtolaunchinmid-2020
The study was published July 8 in Nature Astronomy.