General, Research, Technology

Do the laws of physics stop working on the edge of the universe?

Do you think the laws of physics throughout the universework the same way and has it always been that way? The results of a new study suggest that in the first epochs of the life of the Universe, the value of one of the most important fundamental constants - fine structure constants - a number that is believed to remain unchanged and describes how subatomic particles interact with each other - in far corners of space was somewhat different. The resulting number, researchers say, varies in the zone of the most distant quasars - the class of the brightest astronomical objects in the Universe, which are considered its outer boundary. It sounds rather confusing, so let's try to figure out what is the matter and why this discovery can fundamentally change our understanding of space.

Our universe is very strange

Bold statement

So, scientists from the University of New South Walesdiscovered inconsistencies in the fine structure constant in the remote corners of the universe. The fine structure constant describes the force that acts on subatomic particles with an electric charge, just as the protons and electrons inside an atom are attracted to each other. A study published in the journal Science Advances showed that the number changes when researchers analyze the most distant quasars, however, only when they look in certain directions. This means that at the edges of the universe the laws of physics may be violated.

Not only does the universal constant seemannoyingly unstable at the outer limits of space, it arises in only one direction. But back to the quasars: by studying in detail the light from distant quasars, scientists, thereby, study the properties of the Universe as it was a billion years ago. Yes, the early stars formed then, but there were no galaxies, as were the populations of stars in the night sky, not to mention the planets. Observing the quasar J1120 + 0641, astronomers tried to track the differences in the value of the fine structure constant.

About why the starry sky is changing, and some light sources have disappeared over the past 70 years, I wrote in a previous article.

The light from the quasar J1120 + 0641 needs 12.9 billion years to reach our planet.

In fact, scientists have long been concerned about the issue ofwhether the laws of physics in the Universe were always the same as we know them. Indeed, in the first moments of the existence of the universe, the Universe expanded inexplicably quickly. It is logical to assume that the laws of physics of the young Universe could differ from modern ones, and this can only be known by tracking the fine structure constant.

Read even more fascinating articles about our Universe on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site

Having analyzed the location of certain"Dark" lines in the spectrum of J1120 + 0641, the authors of the study came to the conclusion that the lines show the structure of the energy level in different types of atoms. With their help, you can calculate the value of the associated fundamental constant with high accuracy.
It was possible to measure its value withX-SHOOTER highly sensitive spectrograph mounted on a VLT optical telescope. Using this tool, astronomers were able to measure the value of the fine structure constant in the four corners of the cosmos most distant from us through which light passed from J1120 + 0641. It turned out that in the early Universe the value of this fundamental constant really was different. But what does it mean?

Strange universe

As the Scitech Daily writes, it seems receivedthe results confirm the idea that directionality can exist in the universe. This is very strange - if in the Universe there is some direction or preferred direction in which the laws of physics change.

It is believed that the Big Bang laid the foundation for the Universe and since then it has expanded with acceleration

We can look back at 12 billionlight years and measure electromagnetism when the universe was very young. If you add all this data together, it turns out that electromagnetism increases as we look further, while in the opposite direction it gradually decreases. In other directions of the cosmos, the constant of the fine structure remains just that - constant. These new, very distant dimensions have taken our observations further than ever before.

UNSW Science Professor John Webb

If there is an orientation in the universe,Professor Webb claims, and if in some areas of space electromagnetism is manifested very weakly, the most fundamental concepts that underlie most of modern physics need to be revised. To keep abreast of the latest news from the world of science and high technology, subscribe to our news channel in Telegram

However, it is safe to say thatthat the fine structure constant is really different in different areas of the universe, is impossible. According to the authors of the study, if the data of other scientific works show the same conclusions, then this will help explain why our Universe is what it is and why life exists in it at all. Professor Webb’s team believes that this is the first step towards a much larger study, which examines many areas in the universe.