The fact of the acceleration of spatial expansion is still a mystery. But new studies at the University of Texas in Dallas may provide an answer.
Modern science still cannot understand why the expansion of the Universe seems to be accelerating. Some believe that this is due to theoretical dark energy that counteracts gravity. Others think that not everything is so smooth with Albert Einstein's theory of gravity.
Astrophysicists have to sort through mountains of information and inconsistencies in them can lead to truth. Scientists from the University of Texas at Dallas have created a new mathematical tool that identifies and quantifies inconsistencies in cosmological information collected by various scientific missions and experiments.
The consequences of the inconsistency are that some of the current data sets have systematic errors that need to be identified and removed, or the basic cosmological model may be incomplete.
Model of the Universe
Scientists use the standard cosmological model to describe the history, evolution and structure of the universe. It helps to calculate the age of space and the rate of expansion. The model includes equations describing the final for the Universe - the continuation of expansion or deceleration due to gravity.
In the equations there are several variable cosmological parameters. Their numerical values are determined by observations and contain such factors as the speed of galactic separation and the density of matter, energy and radiation. But there is a problem. All values are calculated using data sets from different experiments and sometimes they do not agree.
New device for finding inconsistencies
The team created a new measure called the IOI Inconsistency Index, which gives the numerical value of the degree of inconsistency between two or more data sets. A comparison with an IOI greater than 1 is considered inconsistent. If it turns out to be more than 5, then this is strongly inconsistent.
For example, the researchers used IOI to compare five different methods for determining the Hubble parameter related to the rate of expansion of the Universe. One of them, the local measurement, is based on the calculation of the distance to relatively close explosive stars (supernovae). Others rely on observing various phenomena at much greater distances. It turned out that there is consistency between four of the five methods. It turned out to be an inconsistency of the parameter of local measurements from supernovae. Factor IOI was also applied to 5 sets of observational data related to a large-scale universe structure. The calculated cosmological parameters were in strong disagreement with the parameters from Planck's observations. In this case, the behavior of the universe on a large scale may differ from the intermediate or local.
Researchers have made the IOI tool available for use by other scientists. Such cooperation will allow you to quickly find all inconsistencies. It is important to find the correct values for cosmological parameters, because this affects the accuracy of our understanding of the Universe.