Tech & Science Einstein’s Theory Of General Relativity Tested In Extreme Gravity

11:21  05 july  2018
11:21  05 july  2018 Source:   ibtimes.com

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Albert Einstein determined that massive objects cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt as gravity . As he worked out the equations for his general theory of relativity , Einstein realized that "We can test general relativity , and general relativity has passed the test ," Gonzalez said.

The theory of relativity usually encompasses two interrelated theories by Albert Einstein : special relativity and general relativity . Special relativity applies to elementary particles and their interactions, describing all their physical phenomena except gravity .

a close up of a star in the dark © Provided by IBT US In a new test, an international team of researchers has shown Einstein’s theory of general relativity or GR holds true even in the most extreme environments prevailing in the known universe.

Proposed more than a century ago, the famous theory from the physicist states all objects fall at the same rate, be it a feather or a cannonball.

The idea, scientifically called the equivalence principle, has been tried and validated on a number of occasions on Earth. Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott even demonstrated it on the moon after dropping a hammer and feather at the same time and showing they both hit the lunar dirt at the same time, regardless of how big they are or what they are made of.

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Tests of general relativity serve to establish observational evidence for the theory of general relativity . The first three tests , proposed by Einstein in 1915

General relativity (GR, also known as the general theory of relativity or GTR) is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915 and the current description of gravitation in

However, there have been contradictions to the idea as some people have suggested alternative theories of gravity might be applicable in the cases of most dense or massive objects with extreme gravity.

As a neutron star — an object of very small radius (typically 30 km) and high density — carries extremely strong self-gravitation and makes the right candidate for the test equivalence principle, the international research team looked at a unique three-star system consisting a neutron star and two white dwarfs — stellar bodies that are just as big as Earth but carry the sun’s mass.

The system, sitting 4,200 light years away from us, was first discovered in 2011. However, follow-up observations confirmed the closely orbiting neutron star and white dwarf, and the second white dwarf orbiting the pair much further away is an appropriate set-up to see how the gravity of the outer star affects those on the inside.

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Testing Einstein ' s theory . General relativity works very well for gravity of ordinary strength, the variety experienced by humans on Earth or by planets as they orbit the sun. Another way to test general relativity in extreme regimes would be to look at the properties of gravitational waves.

Test Prep. General relativity was Einstein ’ s theory of gravity , published in 1915, which extended special relativity to take into account non-inertial frames of reference — areas that are accelerating with respect to each other.

“This is a unique star system,” Ryan Lynch, a co-author on the paper, said in a statement. “We don't know of any others quite like it. That makes it a one-of-a-kind laboratory for putting Einstein's theories to the test.”

They took more than 800 observations of the star system from Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in the Netherlands. The findings of the work conducted over a six-year-long period revealed both inner stars — the neutron star and the white dwarf — accelerated at very similar pace, just like the hammer and feather.

This, as the researchers described, not just rules out alternative theories of gravity but is also a 10 times more precise test than the best experiments conducted ever before.

“If there is a difference, it is no more than three parts in a million,” Nina Gusinskaia, co-author of the study, said in another statement. “Now, anyone with an alternative theory of gravity has an even narrower range of possibilities that their theory has to fit into, in order to match what we have seen.”

The study titled, “Universality of free fall from the orbital motion of a pulsar in a stellar triple system,” was published July 4 in the journal Nature.

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