EINSTEIN’S theory of relatively provides the most accurate measurement ever of the universe’s expansion, according to University of Portsmouth scientists.
Cosmologists from the institute of cosmology and gravitation and the Max Planck institute for extraterrestrial physics made their discovery after examining the period between five and six billion years ago – when the universe was half its present age.
They used the great scientist’s simple calculation and came up with measurements with extraordinary accuracy, within just 1.7 per cent.
Team member Dr Rita Tojeiro said: ‘The results are the best measurement of an intergalactic distance ever made which means cosmologists are closer than ever to understanding why the universe’s expansion is accelerating.
‘One of the great things about Einstein’s general theory of relativity is that it is testable.
‘Our results support the theory that constant vacuum energy (empty space creating a repulsive force) is driving the acceleration of the universe.
‘These are profound statements that describe the physics of our universe at the most fundamental level.’
Experts will use the results to understand what is causing acceleration of the universe, and will shed new light on dark energy – the name adopted for the mysterious agent driving the acceleration.