This 'map of the universe' is the first full model of Einstein's theory of relativity
Universe

This ‘map of the universe’ is the first full model of Einstein’s theory of relativity

Scientists have created a model of the universe based on Einstein’s complete theory of relativity. The model maps the relationships between the curvature of space, time and matter

The teams of researchers from several European and American institutions created two computer codes that they claim would “lead to the most accurate possible models of the universe” and “provide new insights into gravity and its effects”.

Because the theory is so complicated, physicists have never before been able to model the universe without needing to simplify it.

The new codes are “the first” to use the complete theory of relativity and “account for the effects of matter clumping in some regions…and a lack of matter in others.”

“This is a really exciting development that will help cosmologists create the most accurate possible model of the universe,” said Marco Bruni, who works at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation.

“Over the next decade we expect a deluge of new data coming from next generation galaxy surveys, which use extremely powerful telescopes and satellites to obtain high-precision measurements of cosmological parameters – an area where ICG researchers play a leading role. To match this precision we need theoretical predictions that are not only equally precise, but also accurate at the same level.”

“These new computer codes apply general relativity in full and aim precisely at this high level of accuracy, and in future they should become the benchmark for any work that makes simplifying assumptions.”

The model can map the links between the curvature of space and time, as well as matter in the cosmos.

To fully understand the differences between more basic simulations and the entire model, the team said “more work” will be required in the future.

“In the end, as always in physics, it will be the interplay between theory and observations that will further our understanding of the universe,” said Bruni.

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