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An Enigma Over Einstein's Theory Could Finally Be Resolved

First Posted: Feb 13, 2017 03:57 AM EST
100th Anniversary Of Einstein's Theory Of Relativity
A miniature statue of Albert Einstein is seen an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of late German-born physicist Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity at a science museum on July 1, 2005 in Seoul, South Korea. The revolutionary theory led to a complete revision of the scientific understanding of space and time.

(Photo : Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Scientists could finally be resolved the bewilderment over Albert Einstein's theory through tests using advanced technology. They are researching on how the universe's accelerated expansion is being driven.

In Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, which was published in 1915, he suggested that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt as gravity. He indicated it to explain a static universe based on his mathematical element called Cosmological Constant. On the other hand, he discarded his mathematical factor after discovering that the universe is expanding.

The research was printed in Physics Letters B. It was led by scientists from University of Edinburgh. It was conducted two decades ago. The research indicates that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. This suggests that Einstein's Constant may still have a part to play in accounting for dark energy. Without the dark energy, the acceleration could not support Albert Einstein's theory of gravity across the largest distances in the universe, according to Phys.org.

The researchers could have resolved this bewilderment by identifying the speed of gravity in the cosmos from a study of gravitational waves-space-time ripples propagating in the universe. In their calculations, they show that if the gravitational waves are found to travel at the speed of light, this would rule out alternative gravity theories, with no dark energy, in support of Albert Einstein's Cosmological Constant. On the other hand, if their speed differs from that of light, then Einstein's theory must be reviewed, according to the team.

Dr. Lucas Lombriser from the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics and Astronomy stated that the recent direct gravitational wave detection has opened a new observational window to the universe. He further stated that their results give an impression of how this will guide them in solving one of the most fundamental problems in physics. 

In the experiment, the team will use the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the U.S. This could resolve the puzzle in time for the 100th anniversary of Einstein's Constant.

The cosmological constant is defined as the value of the energy density of the vacuum of space. This is Albert Einstein's additional theory to his theory of general relativity to "hold back gravity" and achieve a static universe. On the other hand, this was abandoned after discovering that all galaxies outside the Milky Way Galaxy are moving away from each other. The Cosmological Constant is also the simplest possible form of dark energy since it was found out that it is constant in both space and time. 

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