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Einstein's theory of relativity: A research team discovers a “cosmic error”

Einstein's theory of relativity: A research team discovers a “cosmic error”

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If you look at the universe billions of light-years away, gravity gets weaker by about one percent. (Archive photo) © IMAGO/Jam Press

On a cosmic level, gravity doesn't seem to fit exactly with Einstein's theory. A research team wants to resolve this paradox.

WATERLOO – In 1915, Albert Einstein presented his theory of general relativity, which is still valid today. Among other things, he very accurately predicted the appearance of black holes, a prediction confirmed by the first image of a black hole. The existence of so-called gravitational lenses, which are massive objects in the universe that act as magnifying lenses for the objects behind them, also supports this theory.

“This model of gravity has been important in everything from the Big Bang theory to imaging black holes,” notes Robin Wein of the University of Waterloo in Canada. But when we try to understand gravity at the cosmic level, at the level of galaxy clusters and beyond, we encounter clear contradictions with the predictions of general relativity, he adds. It no longer fully corresponds to Einstein's theory.

Gravity weakens by about one percent over billions of light-years

This phenomenon, according to Wayne, is called “cosmic error.” “Gravity gets weaker by about one percent at distances of billions of light-years.” For more than two decades, physicists and astronomers have tried to create mathematical models that can explain these discrepancies in the theory of relativity. It now appears that Wen, in collaboration with a research team, has succeeded in developing such a model. And the results were In the specialized magazine Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics published.

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“About a century ago, astronomers discovered that our universe is expanding,” explains Niash Afshordi, one of the study's authors. “The farther away the galaxies are, the faster they move, to the point where they appear to be moving at almost the speed of light, the maximum allowed by Einstein's theory. Our results suggest that Einstein's theory may be inadequate on these scales.

The research team is modifying and expanding Einstein's theory of relativity

The newly developed “cosmological error” model modifies and extends Einstein's mathematical formulas so that the discrepancy in some cosmological measurements is resolved without affecting the working part of the general theory of relativity. “Think of this as a footnote to Einstein’s theory,” Wen points out in one notice. “Once you reach the cosmic scale, different conditions apply.”

Afshordi is convinced: “This new model could be the first evidence of the cosmic puzzle that we are only beginning to solve across space and time.” (unpaid bill)