Accurate radio observations show that Einstein was right

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Scientists are using radio telescopes on different continents made an extremely accurate measurement of the curvature of space by the gravity of the Sun Their technique shows great contribution to make to the frontier of basic physics. It is one of the best ways to find out the relationship between the famous Albert Einstein's general relativity theory and quantum physics. The researchers have the observations they know a big step forward into this quest.

Diffraction of starlight by gravity was predicted by Einstein when he published his general theory of relativity in 1916. According to this theory makes the strong pull of a massive object like our star make a bend in the near compensate, which means that the way that light or radio waves passing through the corresponding object changes. The phenomenon, which physicists as a parameter called "gamma" is described, was first seen in 1919 during an eclipse. Although in the past ninety years has tried several times to measure the effect, the observations were not precise enough.

For extremely accurate measurements, a team of researchers now using the VLBA, a collection of radio telescopes stretching from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands. Unlike the instruments in recent decades investigation was conducted, the system is precise enough to measure the curvature.

They argued in October 2005 when observations of the sun for four distant quasars - galaxies with a supermassive black hole in their nucleus. By measuring how big the changes that had been inflicted on the radio waves coming from the objects it is concluded that the range is 0.9998, with a maximum deviation of 0.0003. It coincides exactly with the prediction of Einstein, which was 1.0.