Success with a new theory of gravity | 7/8/2019 | Deborah Byrd
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From the new study, a computer-simulated image of a galaxy, as seen from above. On right, in red-blue color, you are seeing the gas density within the disk of the galaxy, with the stars shown as bright dots. On left, you see the force changes in the gas within the disk, where the dark central regions correspond to standard, General Relativity-like forces and the bright yellow regions correspond to enhanced (modified forces). Images via Christian Arnold/ Baojiu Li/ Durham University.

Since the early 1900s, Einstein’s theory of gravity – called the general theory of relativity – has dominated the theories and calculations of cosmologists, those who explain the workings of our universe as a whole. General relativity has been proven again and again, most recently with the first direct black hole image. Now, physicists at Durham University in the U.K. say that Einstein’s general theory of relativity might not be the only way to explain how gravity works or how galaxies form. They’ve had dramatic research success with an alternative model for gravity – f(R)-gravity – called a Chameleon Theory, because, in their words, “it changes behavior according to the environment.” They say this Chameleon Theory is an alternative to general relativity in explaining the formation of structures in the universe. It might also help further understanding of dark energy, a mysterious substance thought to be accelerating the expansion rate of the universe.

Images - Page - Today - July - Physicists

The images on this page were released today (July 8, 2019) by these physicists, who are Christian Arnold, Matteo Leo and Baojiu Li, all of of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology. They’re the results of recent computer simulations run on the DiRAC Data Centric System at Durham University. The simulations show that galaxies like our Milky Way could still form in the universe even with different laws of...
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