Was Einstein wrong? Why some astrophysicists are questioning the theory of space-time

The workings of the Universe.
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Was Einstein wrong? Why some astrophysicists are questioning the theory of space-time

Post by fred8615 »

As in history, revolutions are the lifeblood of science. Bubbling undercurrents of disquiet boil over until a new regime emerges to seize power. Then everyone's attention turns to toppling their new ruler. The king is dead, long live the king.

This has happened many times in the history of physics and astronomy. First, we thought Earth was at the center of the solar system — an idea that stood for over 1,000 years. Then Copernicus stuck his neck out to say that the whole system would be a lot simpler if we are just another planet orbiting the sun. Despite much initial opposition, the old geocentric picture eventually buckled under the weight of evidence from the newly invented telescope.

Then Newton came along to explain that gravity is why the planets orbit the sun. He said all objects with mass have a gravitational attraction towards each other. According to his ideas we orbit the sun because it is pulling on us, the moon orbits Earth because we are pulling on it. Newton ruled for two-and-a-half centuries before Albert Einstein turned up in 1915 to usurp him with his General Theory of Relativity. This new picture neatly explained inconsistencies in Mercury's orbit, and was famously confirmed by observations of a solar eclipse off the coast of Africa in 1919.

Instead of a pull, Einstein saw gravity as the result of curved space. He said that all objects in the universe sit in a smooth, four-dimensional fabric called space-time. Massive objects such as the sun warp the space-time around them, and so Earth's orbit is simply the result of our planet following this curvature. To us that looks like a Newtonian gravitational pull. This space-time picture has now been on the throne for over 100 years, and has so far vanquished all pretenders to its crown. The discovery of gravitational waves in 2015 was a decisive victory, but, like its predecessors, it too might be about to fall. That's because it is fundamentally incompatible with the other big beast in the physics zoo: Quantum theory.

Read more: https://www.livescience.com/end-of-eins ... -time.html
Frederick J. Barnett
"Someone's got to take the responsibility if the job's going to get done!! Do you think that's easy?!" Gregory Peck - The Guns Of Navarone
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