While quantum physics continues to raise new questions about Einstein's theory of general relativity, a recent analysis of a giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way shows that the general theory of relativity continues to be demonstrated under more extreme conditions than initially expected .
Space.com talks to Andrea Ges, professor of astronomy at Los Angeles University of California, and co-lead author of a study exploring the gravitational red shift that is seen near the massive black hole known as Sagittarius A * (abbreviated Sgr A * ), what are the results for Einstein's theory:
Einstein is right, at least for now. Our observations correspond to Einstein's theory of general relativity theory. His theory, however, definitely shows vulnerability. She can not fully explain gravity in a black hole and at some point we will have to move from Einstein's theory to a more comprehensive theory of gravity that explains what a black hole is.
Gravitational red displacement is a phenomenon caused by gravity at a distance, similar to how the Doppler effect changes the characteristics of the wave in motion toward its observer. We are more likely to notice Doppler changes in audio, such as changing the height of the police chess, which speeds up the past through our ears, but the same effect can be seen in other types of waves, such as those generated by photons. While the relative position and motion create doppler red shift, gravity can also produce red displacement when it causes the frequency to decrease in blue light.
As we have proven the gravitational red shift of the Earth, it remains unclear whether the same phenomenon has appeared in black holes. Ghez's team traced the star S0-2 in its full orbit in three dimensions, using multiple telescopes in different locations. In combination with measurements made over the past 24 years, scientists have been able to show a red shift while S0-2 passes the extreme gravitational field of Sgr A *.
Tracking S0-2 is just the beginning of the gravity red shift survey. Sgr A * already provides other candidates with a track record, but future results may still take some time. Of the 3,000 stars near Sgr A *, S0-102 has the shortest orbit of 11.5 years. However, future efforts now have more expected results and will need a thorough analysis to find further details of one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
Einstein's Theory of General Theory of Relativity precedes the discovery of black holes, making these results even more impressive. The country will not last forever, but it is amazing to see how an idea can reach all the time.
Best Image Credit: NASA