The universe is expanding too fast, and that could rewrite cosmology

Totally different measurements of the Hubble fixed, the speed of space-time growth, refuse to agree – that means we could need to look past Einstein’s theories to elucidate the universe


25 November 2020

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Douglas Bowden

AT FIRST, it was a whisper. Now it has turn into a shout: there’s something severely fallacious with our understanding of the cosmos. Once we measure the rate at which the universe is expanding, we get totally different outcomes relying on whether or not we extrapolate from the early universe or have a look at exploding stars in close by galaxies. The discrepancy implies that the whole lot is rushing aside extra shortly than we anticipate.

The issue initially surfaced just a few years in the past, and the hope was that it will fade away with extra exact observations. In actual fact, the most recent measurements have made it not possible to disregard. “It’s beginning to get actually severe,” says Edvard Mörtsell, a cosmologist at Stockholm College in Sweden. “Folks will need to have actually screwed up for this to not be actual in some sense.”

Cosmologists have been scrabbling for solutions. They’ve performed round with the properties of darkish vitality and darkish matter, these two well-known, but nonetheless mysterious, elements of our commonplace mannequin of cosmology. They’ve imagined all method of recent unique components – all to no avail.

The conclusion might hardly be starker. Our greatest mannequin of the cosmos, a seemingly serenely crusing ship, could be holed beneath the water line. That has led some researchers to recommend taking the last word step: abandoning that ship and constructing a brand new commonplace mannequin from the bottom up, based mostly on a revised understanding of gravity. It’s hardly the primary such try. Now, nonetheless, it comes with a twist – nearly actually. By placing a quantum spin on Einstein’s theories of house and time, we would lastly make …


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