Posts Tagged ‘Radek Wojtak

Light from galaxy clusters confirm theory of relativity

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Researchers have analyzed measurements of the light from galaxies in approximately 8,000 galaxy clusters. Galaxy clusters are accumulations of thousands of galaxies (every light in the image is a galaxy), which are held together by their own gravity. This gravity affects the light that is sent out into space from the galaxies

All observations in astronomy are based on light emitted from stars and galaxies and, according to the general theory of relativity, the light will be affected by gravity. At the same time all interpretations in astronomy are based on the correctness of the theory of relatively, but it has never before been possible to test Einstein’s theory of gravity on scales larger than the solar system. Now astrophysicists at the Dark Cosmology Centre at the Niels Bohr Institute have managed to measure how the light is affected by gravity on its way out of galaxy clusters. The observations confirm the theoretical predictions. The results have been published in the journal Nature.
Observations of large distances in the universe are based on measurements of the redshift, which is a phenomenon where the wavelength of the light from distant galaxies is shifted more and more towards the red with greater distance. The redshift indicates how much the universe has expanded from when the light left until it was measured on Earth. Furthermore, according to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the light and thus the redshift is also affected by the gravity from large masses like galaxy clusters and causes a gravitational redshift of the light. But the gravitational influence of light has never before been measured on a cosmological scale.
“It is really wonderful. We live in an era with the technological ability to actually measure such phenomena as cosmological gravitational redshift”, says astrophysicist Radek Wojtak, Dark Cosmology Centre under the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen….. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by physicsgg

September 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm


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