Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clumped galaxies give General Relativity its toughest test yet

Date:
June 24, 2014
Source:
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)
Summary:
Nearly 100 years since Albert Einstein developed General Relativity, the theory has passed its toughest test yet in explaining the properties of observable Universe.  The most precise measurements to date of the strength of gravitational interactions between distant galaxies show perfect consistency with General Relativity’s predictions.

Each point on the left panel represents a galaxy, while a right panel is an actually image of one of the patches of the sky observed by SDSS. Credit:
Credit: SDSS

Nearly 100 years since Albert Einstein developed General Relativity, the theory has passed its toughest test yet in explaining the properties of observable Universe. The most precise measurements to date of the strength of gravitational interactions between distant galaxies show perfect consistency with General Relativity's predictions. The results will be presented by Dr Lado Samushia at the National Astronomy Meeting 2014 in Portsmouth on Wednesday 25 June.

Samushia and his colleagues analysed more than 600,000 galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) Baryon Oscillations Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) catalogue to come up with a measurement of how much galaxies clump together within the vast volume that they occupy.

"Whilst the Cosmological Principle tells us that the Universe should have same properties in every direction, observations do not match this picture," explains Samushia, of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth. "Because galaxies are themselves parts of larger structures that are growing, they tend to 'infall' towards each other. This infall gives an apparent effect that we only see in the direction towards us, because of the way in which we observe the galaxies."

Using the observed distortions in galaxy positions, the team were able to measure the strength of gravity with a precision of 6 per cent, the strongest constraint of its kind as of today. The measurements turned out to be perfectly consistent with the predictions of Einstein's General Relativity theory.

"Gravity is the main driving force behind the growth of structure in the Universe. According to General Relativity, gravity is a manifestation of the space-time curvature -- massive objects curve the space-time around them, which affects the movement of other objects around them. It's a very elegant theory that has been successful in explaining the outcomes of many experiments, however it is not the only theory of gravity," explained Samushia. "Theoretical physicists have proposed many alternative theories and modifications of General Relativity and the challenge for observational physicists is to test the alternative theories with ever increasing precision."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lado Samushia, Beth A. Reid, Martin White, Will J. Percival, Antonio J. Cuesta, Gong-Bo Zhao, Ashley J. Ross, Marc Manera, Éric Aubourg, Florian Beutler, Jon Brinkmann, Joel R. Brownstein, Kyle S. Dawson, Daniel J. Eisenstein, Shirley Ho, Klaus Honscheid, Claudia Maraston, Francesco Montesano, Robert C. Nichol, Natalie A. Roe, Nicholas P. Ross, Ariel G. Sánchez, David J. Schlegel, Donald P. Schneider, Alina Streblyanska, Daniel Thomas, Jeremy L. Tinker, David A. Wake, Benjamin A. Weaver, Idit Zehavi. The Clustering of Galaxies in the SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS): measuring growth rate and geometry with anisotropic clustering. MNRAS, 2014 [link]

Cite This Page:

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). "Clumped galaxies give General Relativity its toughest test yet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215938.htm>.
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). (2014, June 24). Clumped galaxies give General Relativity its toughest test yet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215938.htm
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). "Clumped galaxies give General Relativity its toughest test yet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215938.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017, opening the way to a new chapter in human spaceflight. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Picks Boeing and SpaceX to Ferry Astronauts

NASA Picks Boeing and SpaceX to Ferry Astronauts

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil. It has announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins