New test by deepest galaxy map finds Einstein’s theory stands true


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An international team led by Japanese researchers has made a 3D map of 3000 galaxies 13 billion light years from Earth, and found that Einstein’s general theory of relativity is still valid.

New test by deepest galaxy map finds Einstein’s theory stands true
A 3D map of the Universe spanning 12 to 14.5 billion light years 

Since it was discovered in the late 1990s that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, scientists have been trying to explain why. The mysterious dark energy could be driving acceleration, or Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which says gravity warps space and time, could be breaking down.

To test Einstein’s theory, a team of researchers led by Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics (Kavli IPMU) Project Researcher Teppei Okumura, Kavli IPMU Project Assistant Professor Chiaki Hikage, University of Tokyo Department of Astronomy Professor Tomonori Totani, and together with Tohoku University Astronomical Institute Associate Professor Masayuki Akiyama and Kyoto University Department of Astronomy Associate Professor Fumihide Iwamuro and Professor Kouji Ohta, used FastSound Survey data on more than 3000 distant galaxies to analyze their velocities and clustering.

New test by deepest galaxy map finds Einstein’s theory stands true
The growth rate and its evolution of the large-scale structure. Horizontal axis shows the redshift as well as the comoving 
distance. Vertical axis is the parameter showing the growth of the large-scale structure. The larger the number is,
 the faster the growth speed becomes. Green band indicates the range of the growth speed expected from
 the general relativity theory and the cosmological constant. Red circle is the newly obtained constrained
 based on FastSound survey. Other values are from previous studies. The FastSound provided 
a very important constraint on the growth rate for the distant, hence the ancient universe 
[Credit: Okumura et al.]

Their results, published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, indicated that even far into the universe, general relativity is valid, giving further support that the expansion of the universe could be explained by a cosmological constant, as proposed by Einstein in his theory of general relativity.

“We tested the theory of general relativity further than anyone else ever has. It’s a privilege to be able to publish our results 100 years after Einstein proposed his theory,” said Okumura.

“Having started this project 12 years ago it gives me great pleasure to finally see this result come out,” said Karl Glazebrook, Professor at Swinburne University of Technology, who proposed the survey.

This is the first version of a 3D map of the Universe from the FastSound Project, 
which is surveying galaxies in the Universe over nine billion light years away 

No one has been able to analyze galaxies more than 10 billion light years away, but the team managed to break this barrier thanks to the FMOS (Fiber Multi-Object Spectrograph) on the Subaru Telescope, which can analyze galaxies 12.4 to 14.7 billion light years away. The Prime Focus Spectrograph, currently under construction, is expected to be able to study galaxies even further away.

Source: University of Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe Tokyo [May 11, 2016]



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