Newton’s law of universal gravitation challenges a controversial new astrophysics discovery

A team of astrophysicists has made an unusual discovery that they say challenges our current understanding of gravity based on Newton’s law of universal gravitation, according to a newly published paper.

The controversial claim, published in Monthly notifications of the Royal Astronomical Society, It seems to agree with alternative explanations about one of the most mysterious fundamental interactions in physics.

In their new study, an international team of astrophysicists said they made the discovery while investigating open star clusters. These formations are created when a gas cloud appears after the birth of thousands of stars within a relatively short period of time, the remnants of which are ejected as these groups of stars ignite and begin to expand, potentially forming anywhere from several dozen. To several thousand new stars.

The role of gravity in this process involves how the weak gravitational forces act essentially as the glue that holds and holds these groups of stars together. Capable of surviving hundreds of millions of years, these clusters eventually begin to lose stars over time, creating a pair of ‘tidal tails’, one being dragged behind the open star cluster as it is pushed through space while the other protrudes before formation.

Based on Newton’s law of universal gravitation, we would expect the assignment of the different stars in the cluster to either of the tidal tails to be completely random. However, this was not the case according to the team involved in the latest study, which found that one tail was clearly able to outperform its star-clinging counterpart.

According to Dr. Jan Pvalam Altenberg, Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics: “In the clusters we studied, the forward tail always contains more stars near the cluster than the back tail.”

“The asymmetry between the number of stars in the fore- and tail-tail tests the theory of gravity,” the authors wrote in their paper.

Dr. Teresa Yerapkova, one of the paper’s co-authors, says the research team was the first to develop the method they used to calculate how many stars are allocated within pairs of tidal tails in star clusters.

“When we analyzed all the data, we faced [a] Inconsistent with the current theory, Yarabkova said in a statement, adding that the level of accuracy the team had available to in survey data from ESA’s Gaia pilot mission was “indispensable” in making their observations.

If the accepted concept of Newtonian gravity is not a conventional one, what do these new contradictory data indicate regarding the weakest of the four fundamental forces?

The research team believes that a theory of gravity involving what is known as Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) may provide the answer. MOND proponents argue that observations of galaxies and their properties indicate the need for modifications to Newton’s law of universal gravitation. Remarkably, such ideas can solve problems such as the question of dark matter by providing alternative models to explain the behavior of galaxies, which in many cases do not appear to comply with the laws of physics as we currently understand them.

Simply put, according to MOND, stars can leave an array through two different doors, says Pavel Krupa, lead author of the study. Who added that where one ‘door’ leads to the tail facing the tides and one to the other behind the cluster.

However, as Kroupa notes, “the first is much narrower than the second – so the star is unlikely to leave the mass through it.”

“Newton’s gravitational theory, on the other hand, predicts that both doors should be the same width,” says Kroupa.

Although team members express that current tools available to physicists that might help them analyze potential modifications required for Newtonian dynamics are limited, simulation-based calculations appear to be able to accurately predict the age of open star clusters.

This, according to the research team, is much shorter than Newton’s laws would allow, and for Krupa and her team, it may explain the mystery of why star clusters in galaxies close to our own are disappearing more quickly than astronomers. anticipation.

Of course, theories that require major changes in our current models of how the universe works are generally slow to win over scientists. Modifications to Newton’s theory of gravity are useful in helping to resolve such observations in the team’s recent study, but they would also have broader implications that could extend to nearly all areas of physics. But for Kroupa and her team, accepting such ideas and incorporating them into our knowledge of the universe would generally be more beneficial than anything else.

“[I]”It solves many problems that cosmology faces today,” says Kroupa.

team sheet,”Asymmetric tidal tails of open star clusters: Star-crossing their clusters with branes defying Newtonian gravity.“in Monthly notifications of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Micah Hanks is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Debrief. Continue his work at And on Twitter: Tweet embed.

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