Apparently, the genius of Albert Einstein,, had indeed nothing relative.
- A recent discovery on dark matter seems to confirm once again Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity
- A fascinating article published in Nature Astronomy explains how scientists have finally managed to map it.
- However, this mysterious matter which makes up 85% of the mass of the Universe is precisely where the equations of the famous scientist had predicted it.
Although dark matter constitutes 85% of the mass of the Universe, precisely mapping its occurrence has always been more or less impossible. Indeed, this dark matter originally stems only from a disturbing margin of error in certain calculations when we observe in particular the behavior of objects such as galaxies. Taking into account only the mass of visible matter that we know how to calculate quite accurately, our spiral galaxy, for example, should show a 24% faster rotation.
A margin of error which therefore forced scientists to invent a variable to correct their calculations, a variable called “dark” matter since it interacts very little with conventional matter, except from a gravitational point of view. Later, as they progressed in their exploration of the universe, scientists also realized that almost 70% of the energy content of the Universe was again due to an exotic component, which, in the absence of direct observation has been named: Dark Energy.
Albert Einstein’s theories were right again
Inevitably, as these two adjustment variables have almost no interaction with classical matter, observing or even mapping their presence is almost mission impossible. However, thanks to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, we know that everything that has mass deflects light. Based on this theory, we were, therefore, able to “guess” where the minimum supernumerary mass caused by the presence of Dark Matter is.
Mass, according to Einstein, is indeed a force that, in sufficient quantity, is capable of bending space-time, and therefore the path of light. But it still remained to provide proof that these equations were correct as far as Dark Matter was concerned. And this is precisely what researchers have just done, based on data from the Atacama Cosmological Telescope.
The telescope itself is quite special. The wavelength of light from distant events in the past tends to shift to the right of the visible spectrum – and light itself is an electromagnetic phenomenon like radio waves, for example. As for the Bing Bang, the event is so far from us that its light has shifted further into the radio domain, into the microwave range.
This telescope is thus specially designed to observe the cosmic radiation caused by the Big Bang. At the cost of intense efforts, they managed to calculate precise cartography of the matter between the Big Bang and us. Without using Albert Einstein’s equations, they realized that matter, dark matter included, was indeed where the theory of general relativity had predicted – once again confirming its unquestionable accuracy.