Einstein`s theory holds up in deep space
Washington: Some 7,000 light years away, Einstein`s theory of general relativity has stood up to its most intense test yet, scientists said on Thursday.
The project involved observing a massive, fast-spinning star called a pulsar, and its companion white dwarf -- a smaller but very dense star that is dying, having lost most of its outer layers -- doing a dizzying orbital dance.
The unusually heavy neutron star spins 25 times each second, and is orbited every two and a half hours by the white dwarf star, in a system dubbed PSR J0348+0432.
Would this strange interaction finally shed light on the limits of Albert Einstein`s 1915 theory that explained gravity as a space-time entity that is distorted by any matter within it?
General relativity predicts that even light is deflected by gravity, so astronomers can test the theory by peering through a telescope -- in this case a big one at European Southern Observatory`s site in Chile.
"I was observing the system with ESO`s Very Large Telescope, looking for changes in the light emitted from the white dwarf caused by its motion around the pulsar," said John Antoniadis, a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany and lead author of the paper in the journal Science.
"A quick on-the-spot analysis made me realize that the pulsar was quite a heavyweight. It is twice the mass of the Sun, making it the most massive neutron star that we know of and also an excellent laboratory for fundamental physics."
Scientists expect that Einstein`s theory of general relativity, which is already incompatible with quantum physics, would at some point no longer hold true in extreme conditions.
But they found that in this case, the theory did indeed predict the amount of gravitational radiation emitted.
"We thought this system might be extreme enough to show a breakdown in general relativity, but instead, Einstein`s predictions held up quite well," said Paulo Freire of the Max Planck Institute.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- DNA analysis of rising water crisis in India!
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- Check mahresult.nic.in for Maharashtra HSC Result 2015 to be announced at 1 pm on May 27
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt