Ever since Einstein proposed his theory of general relativity in 1915, scientists have been trying in earnest to prove him wrong. Now, researchers made a 3D map of 3000 galaxies 13 billion light years from Earth and found that he still stands true.
The team used FastSound Survey data on more than 3000 distant galaxies to analyze their velocities and clustering and found that even far into the universe, general relativity, which says gravity warps space and time, is valid, giving further support that the expansion of the universe could be explained by a cosmological constant.
“We tested the theory of general relativity further than anyone else ever has. It’s a privilege to be able to publish our results 100 years after Einstein proposed his theory,” said Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics (Kavli IPMU) Project Researcher Teppei Okumura.
“Having started this project 12 years ago it gives me great pleasure to finally see this result come out,” said Karl Glazebrook from the Swinburne University of Technology, who proposed the survey.
No one has been able to analyze galaxies more than 10 billion light years away, but the team managed to break this barrier thanks to the FMOS (Fiber Multi-Object Spectrograph) on the Subaru Telescope, which can analyze galaxies 12.4 to 14.7 billion light years away.
The study is published online in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.