Despite all of its planets, stars, black holes, and breathtaking phenomena, the universe seems to be missing something, but this something may well be hiding.
Every strange and fascinating thing is said to belong to the universe. So what is it that has remained invisible? New research suggests gravitational waves could help shed light on the mysterious dark energy thought to be lurking in a vacuum. It is possible that gravitational waves – ripples in space-time – can illuminate dark energy. These ripples encounter supermassive black holes or huge galaxies as they travel through space.
Because gravitational waves (which possibly are all over galaxy IC 10, above) have been proven to bend when passing through or near these objects, dark energy could also have an effect on them.
“Gravitational waves can be used to probe the nature of dark energy,” Jose Maria Ezquiaga, co-author of an article recently published in Physical examination letters, SYFY WIRE said. “If dark energy is in essence a modification of gravity, it will affect the way gravitational waves travel. This is somewhat similar to using light to probe the nature of certain materials. In other words, gravitational waves can be used as probes for the components of the universe.
Dark energy is believed to be behind the expansion of the universe, but the problem is that its origin remains unknown. There are scientists who don’t even think it exists. If it is really dark energy that is causing the universe to expand rapidly, gravitational waves, which emerge from black holes and colliding neutron stars, can tell us something as they travel through the darkness. . If, as Ezquiaga said, dark energy is a weird way of altering gravity, it should affect gravitational waves.
Galaxies and black holes rippling through space-time collide with enormous gravity. This level of gravity will bend the path of a gravitational wave. When huge mass globes warp the surrounding space, as described in Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, they create a gravitational field that amplifies the light behind them and makes them more observable. It is a gravitational lens. Telescopes like Hubble often take the opportunity to study distant galaxies that are otherwise beyond what our technology can see. However, light isn’t the only thing the gravitational lens can bend.
“If the gravity is changed, then these changes are a good place to look,” Ezquiaga said. “If a gravitational wave passes through these media, it can generate waves associated with additional components of gravity. In many theories, these are scalar waves, which differ from gravitational waves in their polarization properties.
When gravitational waves venture near an object massive enough to be lens-capable, they are supposed to either release an “echo” or be scrambled. This is where scalar waves come in. Scalar waves, which may or may not exist in the field of physics depending on who you ask, are electromagnetic waves believed to run lengthwise. When gravitational waves approach an object with intense gravity, the difference in speed between them and the generated scalar waves is what determines whether the gravitational waves echo or end up emitting a scrambled signal.
If there is enough difference in speed between the two types of waves, the gravitational wave will split in half, sending an echo. It can also happen if scalar waves are generated in a sufficiently large area of space. If there isn’t enough speed difference, and the delay is shorter than the time it takes for the gravitational wave to pass a massive object, things get muddled. Looking for these echoes in the gravitational wave data could tell us what she’s encountering and whether she comes face to face with dark energy.
Ezquiaga believes that how we search for dark energy in the future depends on what evidence we find of the change in gravity.
“If some of these changes are found, then the properties of the signal can be used to constrain possible changes in gravity,” he said. “For example, information about the delay between echoes or the polarization content of the signal will be very important. If no such modification is found, we can reject some theories. These stresses will become stronger as more gravitational waves are detected. “
Even though neither we nor our most powerful telescopes can see it, dark energy may not remain in the dark indefinitely.