A research by the University of Durham (United Kingdom), published today in the journal Nature Astronomy, reveals that Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity may not be the only way to explain how gravity works or how galaxies form.
Through supercomputers, a team of physicists simulated the cosmos using an alternative model for gravity known as Theory of the Chameleons – so called because it changes behavior according to the environment – and concluded that galaxies such as the Milky Way could have formed following different laws than those of gravity.
The Theory of General Relativity was developed by Albert Einstein in the early twentieth century to explain the gravitational effect of large objects in space, for example, the orbit of Mercury in the solar system and to this day is the basis of modern cosmology.
Until now scientists knew, from theoretical calculations, that the Theory of the Chameleons can reproduce the success of relativity in the solar system, but what the team at the University of Durham has done is to demonstrate that from this approach real galaxies can form.
Professor Christian Arnold, from the Institute of Cosmology at the University of Durham, said that the study “does not mean that the Theory of Relativity is incorrect”, but shows that “it does not have to be the only way to explain the role of gravity in the evolution of the universe. “
The study could also help to better understand dark energy, the mysterious substance that accelerates the speed of expansion of the universe.
The researchers hope these findings can be tested using the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope, which will begin operating in 2020 and will be the world’s largest scientific infrastructure to try to locate intelligent life in the universe and see how it developed after the Big Bang. .