Physicists have modeled a fundamentally new mechanism for the expansion of the universe. A study by the University of Copenhagen refutes Einstein’s cosmological constant.
Until now, researchers believed that dark energy accounts for nearly 70% of the ever-accelerating and expanding universe. For many years, this mechanism was associated with the so-called cosmological constant, developed by Einstein in 1917. By itself, the cosmological constant is a physical constant that characterizes the properties of the vacuum, which is introduced in the general theory of relativity (GR).
Since the cosmological constant known as dark energy cannot be measured directly, many researchers, including Einstein, have doubted its existence, unable to offer it a viable alternative.
A new study by scientists at the University of Copenhagen tested a model that replaces dark energy with dark matter in the form of magnetic forces.
“If what we found is true, it will turn our understanding of what most of the universe is made of. We removed dark energy from the equation and added a few more properties of dark matter, ”explains Steen Harle Hansen, assistant professor at the Niels Bohr Institute’s DARK Cosmology Center.
The usual understanding of how the energy of the universe is distributed is that it is composed of 5% normal matter, 25% dark matter, and 70% dark energy.
In the new model of scientists, 25% of dark matter is endowed with special qualities that make 70% of dark energy redundant.
“We don’t know much about dark matter other than that it is a heavy and slow particle. But then we asked ourselves a question – what if dark matter had some quality similar to magnetism? We know that when normal particles move, they create magnetism. And magnets attract or repel other magnets – so what if this is what happens in the universe? That this constant expansion of dark matter is due to some kind of magnetic force? ” Steen Hansen asks.
Hansen’s question served as the basis for a new computer model, in which the researchers incorporated everything they know about the universe: including gravity, its expansion rate, and X, the unknown force that responds to this process.
“We developed a model that worked on the assumption that dark matter particles have magnetic force, and investigated what effect this force would have on the universe. It turned out that it would have exactly the same effect on the rate of expansion of the university. as we know from dark energy, ”the scientist explains.
However, there is still much in this mechanism that remains to be understood by researchers. And the theory needs to be tested on more sophisticated models that take into account more factors. As Hansen says:
“To be honest, our discovery may just be a coincidence. But if it isn’t, it is truly incredible. It would change our understanding of the composition of the universe and the reasons for its expansion. As far as we know, our concepts of dark matter with a type of magnetic force and the concept of dark energy are equally insane. Only more detailed observations will determine which of these models is more realistic. ”