Scientists have been wondering for many years: what makes the universe not only expand, but also do everything faster over time. In addition, finding the exact rate of expansion of the Universe is a constant topic of discussion in cosmology. Researchers now propose to look for answers to gravitational waves.
In search of the missing components of the universe, scientists have already proposed all sorts of theories about what exactly might be the missing piece of the “cosmic puzzle.” “Many of the theories rely on how gravity works on a large scale,” explains co-author Jose Maria Esquiaga, a research assistant at the University of California, Chicago. “Gravitational waves are the ideal mediator to see all possible modifications of gravity if any.”
Gravitational waves are ripples in the very fabric of space-time. Since 2015, humanity has been able to capture these ripples using the LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory) observatories. Every time two very heavy objects collide far away in the universe, they create ripples that travel through space, carrying the signature of what created it. Whether it’s a collision of two black holes or a pair of neutron stars.
In the paper, Esquiaga and co-author Miguel Sumalacarregu argue that if such waves hit a supermassive black hole or galaxy cluster on their way to Earth, the signature of the ripples will change. It is the difference in gravity of objects, envisaged by Einstein’s theory, that makes it possible to determine the signatures of cosmic bodies by waves.
For example, one of the theories of the missing part of the universe is the existence of an additional particle. Such a particle, among other things, will create a kind of background or “environment” around large objects. If a traveling gravitational wave hits a supermassive black hole, it generates waves that mix with the gravitational wave. Depending on what the wave collides with, the signature of the gravitational wave can be “echoed” or displayed in encrypted form.
Scientists believe this is a new way to study the Universe and uncover its last secrets.