Einstein is right again – gravity has remained the same throughout the history of the universe

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers have conducted one of the most accurate tests of Albert Einstein ‘s General Theory of Relativity to date, and like all previous tests , Einstein’s theory passed the test with flying colours.

This suggests that our current understanding of gravity, at the level of accuracy we have, seems to be correct.

The passed test will play an important role in our attempts to find the answer to one of the main cosmological mysteries: the nature of dark energy.

Gravity and the expansion of the universe

More than two decades ago, astronomers discovered that the universe is experiencing an accelerated expansion.

The source of this acceleration remains unknown – the leading hypothesis refers to some kind of dark energy, which is an energy field in time and space that has a “repulsive effect” similar to a kind of anti-gravity.

We generally don’t have hard evidence for the existence of dark energy, so the opponents of this concept suggest that perhaps our theory of gravity is incomplete and that gravity may be slightly different (act differently) on large scales.

The international Dark Energy Survey (DES) has released a report investigating distances up to five billion light-years from Earth to study galaxies and the distortion effects produced by gravity as it warps the fabric of space-time.

This effect, called weak gravitational lensing, allowed the team to determine the strength of gravity in the past, and as far as they can tell, there is no physical evidence that our current model of the universe is wrong. In other words, gravity has remained the same throughout the history of the universe.

Einstein is right again gravity has remained the same throughout the history of the universe 2
Visualization of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

This is a very important test, but obviously not the last word on this issue.

In 2023, the European Space Agency will launch the Euclid spacecraft, which will extend the observations of the Dark Energy Survey to eight billion light-years from Earth.

And in 2026, NASA will launch the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, which will study weak gravitational lensing up to 11 billion light-years away.

“There is still an opportunity to challenge Einstein’s theory of gravity as measurements become more and more precise,” said Dr. Agnès Ferté , JPL postdoctoral fellow and co-author of the study.

“But we still have so much to do before we are ready for Euclid and Roman [the Nancy Grace Roman telescope].

Therefore, it is very important that we continue to collaborate with scientists around the world, as we did with the Dark Energy Survey.”

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