The new test on Einsteins view of the universe has proved that he was right with “incredible accuracy” and is helping scientists to understand the mysterious acceleration of the universe.
The study results, which were announced by a team of cosmologists at the UKs National Astronomy meeting being held at the University of Manchester, give the most accurate measurement ever made from when the expansion of the universe began to accelerate.
“The results are the best measurement of an intergalactic distance ever made, which means cosmologists are closer than ever to understanding why the universe’s expansion is accelerating,” said Dr. Rita Tojeiro, a member of the team.
With this announcement, the phenomenon can now be explained using just Einsteins general theory of relativity and the cosmological constant – the simplest theoretical explanation for the expansion of the universe.
“One of the greatest things about Einstein’s general theory of relativity is that it is testable. Our results support the theory,” said Dr. Tojeiro.
The results will be used to understand what is causing the acceleration and why and will shed new light on dark energy – the name adopted for the fundamental agent driving the acceleration and about which little is known.
According to Dr Tojeiro, the results are “consistent with that constant vacuum energy – empty space creating a repulsive force – is driving the acceleration of the universe.”
The cosmologists from the University of Portsmouth and the Max Planck Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics examined the period between five and six billion years ago when the universe is thought to have been almost half its present age and made measurements of extraordinary accuracy – within an error of 0.7%.
Dr. Tojeiro said the findings “are profound statements that describe the physics of our universe.”
According to the cosmologists, the findings supports Einstein’s general theory of relativity which predicts how fast galaxies, separated by large distances should be moving towards one another and at what rate the structure of the universe should be growing. The conclusions are, seemingly, consistent with the concordance model of a universe that is thought to have bloomed from a big bang 13.7 million years ago.
“Critically, the results find no evidence that dark energy is simply an illusion stemming from our poor understanding of the laws of gravity,” Dr. Tojeiro said.
However, it seems Einstein’s theory has passed its most stringent test yet on extra-galactic scales.
Rewrite of original story from YahooNews