NASA Chandra - 14 April 2010
Two new and independent studies have put Einstein's General Theory of Relativity to the test like never before. These results, made using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, show Einstein's theory is still the best game in town.
Each team of scientists took advantage of extensive Chandra observations of galaxy clusters, the largest objects in the Universe bound together by gravity. One result undercuts a rival gravity model to General Relativity, while the other shows that Einstein's theory works over a vast range of times and distances across the cosmos.
The first finding significantly weakens a competitor to General Relativity known as "f(R) gravity".
A second, independent study also bolsters General Relativity by directly testing it across cosmological distances and times. Up until now, General Relativity had been verified only using experiments from laboratory to Solar System scales, leaving the door open to the possibility that General Relativity breaks down on much larger scales.
Chandra: Abell 3376: Einstein's Theory Fights off Challengers
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/A.Vikhlinin; ROSAT), Optical (DSS), Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/IUCAA/J.Bagchi))
- Via different methods, two separate teams have tested gravity and General Relativity using Chandra observations of galaxy clusters
- The results from each show that Einstein's famous theory works even on some of the largest scales
- Such studies are necessary to understand the evolution of the Universe and the nature of dark energy, one of the biggest mysteries in science
- Physcal Review D 80, 083505 (2009 Oct 06), DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.80.083505
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:0911.1787 > (Submitted on 10 Nov 2009 (v1), last revised 10 Apr 2010 (this version, v2))