As more money and resources are expended in the world of science, age-long discoveries are being investigated and tested for strength. With several theories postulated centuries ago, modern scientists are not wholly buying into the old thoughts, with discoveries and perhaps, stronger defence to dub the theories of old ‘wrong’!
Some scientists, working at the apex of astrophysics have dubbed legendary scientist, Isaac Newton’s ‘Theory of Gravity’ as outrightly wrong. In addition, they have also said Albert Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’ has just some years more before its vulnerabilities are fully exposed.
A University of California Physicist, Prof. Andrea Ghez has said the Theory of Gravity postulated by Newton is not correct with the Black Hole, a great differential to the theory. Ghez however believes Einstein’s theory of relativity is still valid, albeit, for the time being.
”Einstein’s right, at least for now. We can absolutely rule out Newton’s law of gravity. “Our observations are consistent with Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
“However, his theory is definitely showing vulnerability.
“It cannot fully explain gravity inside a black hole, and at some point we will need to move beyond Einstein’s theory to a more comprehensive theory of gravity that explains what a black hole is.”
While Einstein’s theories explains General and Special Relativity, with the former talking about the gravitational law relative to other forces of nature. Special Relativity explains the absence of gravity and physical phenomena. Also found to be a ‘falsifiable theory’, it might have been the modern scientist’s basis for ‘vulnerability’.
German-born theoretical physicist Einstein, alongside Max Planck, are considered the two pillars of ‘modern physics’.
Einstein’s 114-year old theory of general relativity holds that what we perceive as the force of gravity is gotten from the curvature of space-time.
Einstein found out that celestial bodies such as the sun and earth change this geometry.
Despite Prof. Ghez’s reservations with Einstein’s theory, she believes his theory best explains how gravity works. Ghez, in her research has measured the phenomenon directly in the supermassive Black Hole.
Ghez’s reason for dismissing Newton’s theory is because of her belief that the theory of gravity should hold its forte anywhere in the world. In her research, she discovered a star known as S-O2, found to orbit around the black hole in three dimensions at the Milky Way’s centre.
The full orbit takes 16 years, and the black hole’s mass is about four million times that of the Sun.
The researchers boast that their work is the most detailed study ever conducted into the existence of the supermassive black hole and Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
The key data in the research were spectra Professor Ghez’s team analysed this April, May and September as her “favourite star”, the S-O2 made its closest approach to the enormous black hole.
Ghez has described Spectra as the “rainbow of light” from stars which shows the intensity of light and offer important information about the star from which the light travels. It could be seen with the aid of special equipments.
Spectra also helps show the composition of the star.
Spectra—collected at Hawaii’s W.M. Keck Observatory using a spectrograph built at UCLA by UCLA’s Professor James Larkin, provide the third dimension, revealing the star’s motion at a level of precision not previously attained by any scientist.
Professor Larkin’s instrument helps in the dispersion of light from a star, similar to how the rainbow is made from the dispersion of light on the sun, by raindrops.
”What’s so special about S0-2 is we have its complete orbit in three dimensions.
“That’s what gives us the entry ticket into the tests of general relativity.
“We asked how gravity behaves near a supermassive black hole and whether Einstein’s theory is telling us the full story.
“Seeing stars go through their complete orbit provides the first opportunity to test fundamental physics using the motions of these stars,” Professor Ghez concluded.