Cosmic Voids and Galaxy Clusters Challenge Theory of Relativity

Albert Einstein.

When Albert Einstein was led to solving for cosmology and applied his new ideas of general relativity to the larger universe in 1917, it surprisingly predicted that the universe had to be in dynamic motion. (Image: ParentRap via Pixabay)

It will be possible to use new astronomical mappings of hundreds of thousands of cosmic voids and galaxy clusters to test Einstein’s theory of relativity by looking for small deviations in gravity at vast distances — a possible explanation for the dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. This is shown in a new study from Uppsala University published in Physical Review D, a scientific journal.

Cosmic voids are spaces millions of light-years across that contain fewer and more sparsely distributed galaxies than the average. Found between voids are galaxy clusters, the largest known structures formed in the universe, as heavy as 1 million billion solar masses. Gravity controls how quickly voids and galaxy clusters grow, as well as their density.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Theory of relativity being tested by new mappings of hundreds of thousands of voids and galaxy clusters.

Gravity and Einstein’s general theory of relativity

As far as we know, gravity works according to Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, but the theory has not yet been precision-tested at very great distances and in sparse areas.

Researchers Martin Sahlén, at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University, and Joseph Silk, at Johns Hopkins University, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, Université Paris Diderot, and the University of Oxford, have calculated how small deviations from Einstein’s theory of relativity at large distances might affect the number, size, and density of cosmic voids and galaxy clusters. Sahlén said in a statement:

Large mappings provide new opportunities

The authors have previously shown that the simultaneous existence of the largest known void and the largest known cluster are predicated upon the existence of dark energy in the universe.

It is only in recent years that astronomical mappings of the cosmos have become so large and detailed that scientists have begun to be able to compile large catalogs of cosmic voids. The discovery is providing new opportunities to study dark energy and gravity using the future large-scale mappings planned for next-generation satellites and telescopes.

Major projects like the Euclid satellite, the 4MOST telescope, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, and the gigantic Square Kilometre Array radio telescope will be able to map millions of voids and clusters in the next decade, up to 10 billion years into the past. Researchers at Uppsala University are involved in the work with 4MOST, the Square Kilometre Array, and Euclid.

Provided by: Uppsala University [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Hard-boiled eggs.

3 Amazing Egg Recipes You Should Try Today

If you love eggs and are bored with the usual recipes, it is definitely time ...

Egg soup with goji berries and longan fruit.

The Many Benefits of Egg Soup With Goji Berries and Logan Fruit

If your eyes and body feel tired, egg soup with goji berries and logan fruit ...

A boat with Tell the Truth on the side.

Upholding Integrity

Confucius was once a SiKou (司寇), similar to a Minister of Justice. On the seventh ...

Mind control.

Mind Control Tactics and Ways to Protect Yourself [Video]

Mind control has always been a pursuit of those seeking to gain power over people. ...

MK Ultra mind control experiments.

CIA’s MK Ultra Mind Control Program Is the Stuff of Nightmares

MK Ultra is the code name of a series of mind control experiments conducted by ...

A beached fishing boat.

The Secret to a Happy Life

A young man picked up an abandoned leaky boat from the sea and mended it ...

A painted mural showing a child being swabbed for nucleic acid testing for COVID at a testing site in China.

10 Questions About COVID China’s Central Policymakers Need to Address

The COVID pandemic has brought the world’s leadership into the spotlight. Since the outbreak, countries ...

Bioluminescence in the ocean.

The Truth Behind the Glowing Milky Sea Phenomenon

The milky sea continues to fascinate sailors and scientists alike. With its mysterious luminescence, it ...

Three friends sitting on the beach with eyes glued to their smartphones.

Navigating Technology for Mental Wellbeing

Our phones can be addictive, or at least for some of us. You may find ...

Send this to a friend