A group of researchers from the University of Waterloo and the University of British Columbia has discovered a possible “cosmic flaw” in the universe’s gravity, explaining its strange behavior on a cosmic scale. For the past 100 years, physicists have relied on Albert Einstein’s “general theory of relativity” to explain how gravity works throughout the universe. General relativity, proven accurate through countless tests and observations, states that gravity affects not only the three physical dimensions, but also the fourth dimension, time. Suggests. “The creation of a black hole,” said Robin Wen, lead author of the project and a graduate of Waterloo’s School of Mathematical Physics. “But when we try to understand gravity at the cosmic scale, the galaxy cluster scale, and beyond, we run into clear contradictions with the predictions of general relativity.” It is as if gravity itself no longer fits Einstein’s theory perfectly. We call this discrepancy the “cosmic error.” Gravity weakens by about 1% at distances of billions of light years. ” For more than 20 years, physicists and astronomers have been trying to create mathematical models that explain the apparent discrepancy in general relativity. Many of these efforts have been carried out at Waterloo, which has a long history of cutting-edge gravity research that has resulted from ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations between applied mathematicians and astrophysicists. “Nearly a century ago, astronomers discovered that our universe is expanding,” says Niayesh Afshoudi, professor of astrophysics at the University of Waterloo and research associate at the Perimeter Institute. “Galaxies move so fast that they move away from us, so much so that they appear to be moving at speeds close to the maximum speed of light allowed by Einstein’s theory. Our results suggest that Einstein’s theory may also fall short on these very scales. It suggests that there is. Research team’s new model of ‘cosmic glitch’ modifies and extends Einstein’s formula in a way that resolves discrepancies in some cosmological measurements without affecting existing successful applications of general relativity did. “Think of this as a footnote to Einstein’s theory,” Wen says. “Once you reach the cosmic scale, terms and conditions apply.” “This new model could be the first clue to the cosmic puzzles we are beginning to solve across space and time,” Afshodi said.

source: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1475-7516/2024/03/045

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