Science News: Einstein's Theory Fights Off Challengers

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drwayne

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ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2010) — Two new and independent studies have put Einstein's General Theory of Relativity to the test like never before. These results, made using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, show Einstein's theory is still the best game in town.

Each team of scientists took advantage of extensive Chandra observations of galaxy clusters, the largest objects in the Universe bound together by gravity. One result undercuts a rival gravity model to General Relativity, while the other shows that Einstein's theory works over a vast range of times and distances across the cosmos.

The first finding significantly weakens a competitor to General Relativity known as "f(R) gravity."

Rest of the article:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 130830.htm
 
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ramparts

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hehe, that Schmidt paper came out on the arXiv nearly a year ago, it's interesting that the press is only getting around to it now. Anyway, it's a bit of a mistake to say that this "weakens" f(R) gravity. f(R) doesn't refer to a particular theory the way general relativity does, but rather to a whole rather wide class of theories modifying Einstein's. Some of them are still viable, though no scientist really expects an f(R) model alone to be true; they're more like toy models which allow us to probe the ways in which gravity can be changed. Very interesting class of theories, though. They have the potential to explain dark energy and/or inflation without recourse to ad hoc, unobserved energy fields. Cool stuff :)
 
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