- Pallab Ghosh
- Scientific reporter
An international team of researchers has created the largest and most detailed map of the distribution of so-called dark matter in the universe.
The results are surprising because they show that it is slightly smoother and more comprehensive than predicted by the best current theories.
This observation seems to deviate from Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which is an enigma to researchers.
The results were published by the Dark Energy Survey Collaboration.
Dark matter is an invisible substance that enters space. It represents 80% of the universe.
Not to be missed on BBC Africa:
Astronomers were able to determine where it was because it distorts the light of distant stars. The higher the deformation, the higher the concentration of dark matter.
Dr. Niall Jeffrey from the लेcole Normal Supérieur in Paris, who reconstructed the map, indicates that this result has become a “real problem” for physics.
“If this inequality is true, then perhaps Einstein was wrong,” he told BBC News. “You might think that this is a bad thing, that physics can break down. But for a physicist, it’s extremely exciting. It means that we can discover something new about the universe. In fact,” they it is said.
Professor Carlos Frank of Durham University, one of the scientists who relied on the work of Albert Einstein and others to develop current cosmological theory, says he had mixed feelings about learning the news.
“I’ve spent my life working on this principle and my heart tells me that I don’t want to see it crumble. But my brain tells me that the measurements were right, and we need to consider the possibility of a new one. Physics, ”Professor Frank admits.
“Then my stomach tightens, because we have no solid foundation to explore, because we have no theory of physics to guide us. It makes me very upset and frightened, because we are completely unknown in the field. And who knows what we’re going to find, “she continues.
The team behind this new work analyzed 100 million galaxies, using the Victor M. Blanco telescope in Chile.
The map shows how dark matter spreads throughout the universe. Black areas are large areas of nothingness, called zeros, where the laws of physics may vary. Bright areas are those where dark matter is concentrated. We call them “hellos” because it is at their center that we have reality. Within them are our own Milky Way-like galaxies, which glow like tiny gems on a vast cosmic web.
According to Dr Jeffrey, who is also part of a department at University College London, the map clearly shows that galaxies are part of a larger invisible structure.
“No one in the history of mankind has been able to look into space and see where the Dark Matter lies to this extent. Astronomers have been able to produce images of small patches, but we have unveiled new and vast expanses that Too much shows its structure. For the first time, we can see the universe in a different way. “
But the new Dark Matter map does not show what astronomers expected. He has an accurate idea of the distribution of matter 350, 000 years after the Big Bang, thanks to the European Space Agency’s orbital observatory called Planck. He measured the radiation still present at the time, called the cosmic diffuse background, or, more poeticly, the “radiance of creation”.
Inspired by Einstein’s ideas, astronomers such as Professor Frank developed a model to calculate how to spread over the next 13.8 billion years to date. But the actual observations of the new maps are a few percent inaccurate – they show that the material is slightly more evenly distributed.
As a result, Professor Frank believes that there may be major changes in our understanding of the universe.
“We must have made some really fundamental discoveries about the fabric of the universe. The current theory is based on very sketchy columns made of sand. And what we are seeing is the collapse of the universe. ‘One of those pillars. “
But others, such as Professor Ofer Lahav at University College London, hold a more conservative view.
“The big question is whether Einstein’s theory is correct. It seems to have passed all tests, but with some deviations here and there. Perhaps some change is needed in the astrophysics of galaxies. Of cosmology In history, there have been instances where problems have disappeared, but there have also been instances where thinking has changed. It will be fascinating to see if the current “tension” in cosmology will lead to a new paradigm shift, “he says. Huh. He does
The DES collaboration brings together over 400 scientists from 25 institutions across seven countries.