For a long time, people have been arguing whether the Earth is flat. While a few people still do, a more consistent version of this debate is carried over into the universe. With the publication of a new study of astrophysics, camps of "flat universes" and "circular universes" in the field of physics are already emerging; though more precisely in this context, the "flat" universe is not quite analogous to a flat Earth.
According to a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy, cosmic microwave background (CMB) data left by the Big Bang and observed by the Planck Space Observatory suggests that the universe may be "twisted", similar to an expanding bubble , not flat. Another implication of this study is that it suggests that the universe is closed, contradicting the years of conventional wisdom and previous research.
In a flat universe, one can leave the Earth at high speed and never return to where one started; but in a closed, twisted universe, a particle that leaves Earth and moves in a straight line would eventually return to where it started.
"We show that because Planck's power spectra prefer a closed universe, discontinuities higher than generally estimated occur for most local cosmological observations, including acoustic oscillations of baryon," the study authors said. "Therefore, the assumption of a flat universe could mask a cosmological crisis in which the various observable properties of the universe seem incompatible."
If this is correct, the so-called curve is probably gentle, according to the study, and yet, as mentioned above, this means that if you were to travel across our galaxy in a straight line, you would end up at exactly where you started.
According to the theory of general relativity, the curves of the mass are space time. As a result, the total mass of the universe determines its shape. In fact, it is known that scientists calculate the "critical density" of the universe, which is proportional to the square of the Hubble constant, a variable used to estimate the size, age, and rate of expansion of the universe. If the actual density of the universe is less than the critical density, it is predicted that the universe will expand forever, since there is not enough matter to stop it. This creates a flat and open universe.
Yet, if the density of the universe is more than the critical density, then it means that it has enough mass to stop expanding, suggesting the latest study using Planck's data.
The closed universe could subsequently end with a scenario known as the "Big Bang" – as opposed to the Big Bang, in a sense and condition in which the universe shrinks until it is compressed again to a single energy point.
The researchers concluded that they noticed a discrepancy between the concentration of dark matter, dark energy and the outer expansion of the universe when looking at data from the Planck Observatory.
"A closed universe can provide a physical explanation for this effect by which the graph of gravitational events of lenses – caused by the bending of massive objects, exceeds what is expected and influences the cosmic microwave background radiation. Planck's cosmic microwave background spectra now prefer a positive curvature at more than 99% confidence level, the study says. , or new physics, or just statistical fluctuations. "
There is another new book which suggests that the discrepancy is a statistical flux, but it has not yet been examined.
Being an anomaly in CMB data – residual electromagnetic radiation from the early universe – experts in the field make a note.
"The result is intriguing, but only of borderline statistics is important to believe. There is some independent evidence that suggests that the universe is flat and that this statement is a statistical error or misinterpretation of data, "Avi Leeb, chairman of Harvard's astronomy department, told Salon via email.
Loeb added, if future data agrees with this conclusion, "it would be extremely important for our understanding of how [the universe] started."
"The standard inflation scenario predicts almost zero curvature, thousands times lower than the displayed value, "Loeb said. "We'll have to understand why our universe looks so different."