Stars reveal flaws in Newton’s law of gravitation

Stars reveal flaws in Newton's law of gravitation

A group of intrepid scientists now think we should replace Newton’s law of gravitation with a new law.

If they’re right, we should also get rid of the idea of ​​mysterious dark matter, which defines the entire science of cosmology.

Dark matter saves gravity

Isaac Newton published his fundamental treatise, “The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” on July 5, 1687.

He argues that two objects attract each other through their masses and that gravity decreases as the distance between them increases.

Each time the distance doubles, the gravity decreases by a quarter. And the principle, according to Newton, applies everywhere, from one end of the universe to the other.

Albert Einstein built on Newton’s law of gravitation with his general theory of relativity from 1915. In it, he explains how collective attraction occurs: heavy objects arch the space around them. For example, the Earth’s gravitational field forms a “hole” in space in which the Moon rotates like a roulette ball.

Einstein agreed with Newton that the gravitational force between two masses decreases to a quarter when the distance between them doubles.

However, this dogma was called into question in the 1970s when astronomer Vera Rubin made a startling discovery: If gravity slowed as much as Newton and Einstein claimed, then the outermost stars in the galaxy should be swept away by spinning like water droplets in a spinning washer.

Rubin suggested that the galaxies are surrounded by a cloud of invisible dark matter of enormous mass that keeps the outer stars in check by their gravity.

Dark matter can explain the rotation of galaxies and preserve the laws of gravity that Rubin’s observations have corrupted.

Since then, dark matter has become a cornerstone of almost all astronomical research.

Until now.

Rebels defy the giants

Astronomers have been skeptical of the idea of ​​dark matter. They thought that galaxies contain only the bright stars and gas that we see.

The most famous critic of dark matter was the Israeli astrophysicist Mordihai Milgrom. In 1983 he did what no astronomer had dared to think of: he corrected Newton’s law of gravity.

The result: a theory called MOND (Modified Newtonian Dynamics). According to MOND, Newton’s law applies on small cosmic scales, such as in the solar system, but not tens of thousands of light-years away.

This theory could plunge cosmology into a deep crisis because it called gravity itself into question.

Interest in MOND used to be very modest, but now it’s growing. That’s because physicists have been looking for dark matter in underground detectors for decades and trying to produce it at the world’s largest accelerator, the LHC – without success.

So there is still no concrete evidence of the existence of dark matter.

Star clusters ignore Newton

The Gaia telescope was launched in 2013 and has since mapped two billion stars in the Milky Way.

Gaia’s observations of five clusters of young stars close to the Sun provide the strongest argument yet against Newton and endorsement of MOND.

The ridge is located 28,000 light-years from the heart of the Milky Way, far enough to show whether the motions of the stars comply with Newton’s law of gravity, or MOND.

In stellar clusters, about a thousand stars are born almost simultaneously in a large cloud of gas. At first it is convex, but as it rotates with the galaxy, it is stretched due to the gravity of the stars in the galaxy’s core.

The star cluster becomes so elongated that stars explode at the ends. According to the laws of gravity of both Newton and Einstein, these two groups of stars should be the same size, but according to Gaia’s observations, there are more heaps at the “front door” of the Five than at the “back door”.

Gaia’s observations are consistent with MOND, which predicts that gravity is lower over long distances than Newton and Einstein claim.

The enhanced gravity from the center of the Milky Way pulls more stars through the front door of the stack and slows transport through the back door.

Now, a research team led by astrophysicist Pavel Krupa of Charles University in Prague will look at more star clusters using Gaia to determine if they all listen to the controversial theory.

If so, Newton’s theory could go to the scrap heap, along with dark matter and all of modern cosmology.

Or as Pavel Krupa said in an interview with new world On publishing his team’s findings: ‘If the MOND theory is correct, then all current calculations about galaxies are wrong. Then we go back to square one and have to reinvent cosmology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top