Research On Gravity Could Lead To Breakthrough In Understanding The Mysterious Forces Of The Early Universe
It’s really hard to fathom gravity. Of course, dropping an apple is a far cry from a real theory describing one of the more *complicated forces* of the universe in its entirety. Therefore it’s imperative to know how gravity behaved back in the days of an early universe.
Fortunately, there’s been lots of research being done these days. One of the most promising has been conducted by Stefano Camera, from [Theoretical & Observational Cosmology Observations at Jodrell Bank](http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/research/cosmology/).
His latest research presents valuable insights into the very behavior of gravity in the early Universe and especially on forces physically responsible for creating it in the first place.
In order to better understand these forces, Camera’s research focuses on a number of cosmological surveys based on extensive statistical analysis of the distribution of galaxies.
To prop up the data, even larger surveys will be conducted using the *Square Kilometer Array* (or SKA) an organization based at The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank. The university is now even building the world’s largest radio telescope – SKA-mid – in South Africa.
What people tend to forget is the difficulty attached to current surveys, as physicists are only able to examine small areas of the universe one at a time. To get the depth needed to see the very distant and old galaxies the all-new SKA-mid will be essential to scan massive areas of the sky.
By combining the SKA-mid’s sensitivity and its survey speed, there should be an enormous gain in accuracy and relevance. Camera explained it in his own words, saying:
> “We need a census of hundreds of millions of galaxies, stretching as far away as possible and covering almost the whole sky for the analysis to be relevant […] SKA-mid is uniquely suited to do this. With its sensitivity and survey speed we’ll be able to create large but accurate maps of the temperature of neutral hydrogen in galaxies, effectively surveying an unprecedented volume of the Universe.”
Camera surely knows about the implicit challenge that literally comes with this territory. Using current radio wave emission measurements will only get him so far, leaving him in need of data that has not yet been gathered.
This where European Space Agency’s Euclid mission ‘comes in handy’. ESA plans to launch Euclid in 2020, whereas the new *SKA-mid Telescope* will be finished and operating in early to mid-2019.
Having ESA also conducting similar surveys with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Chile will absolutely help mapping the geometry of the Dark Universe, leading to a greater understanding of the evolution of cosmic structures themselves.
Having the advantage of optical and near-infrared data at his disposal could be a breakthrough for the old physical question of how and why gravity exists and behaves the way it does.
Mr. Camera sums it up, concluding that:
>“"By combining observations from different experiments at different wavelengths, we can obtain extra information and get the full picture on how cosmic structures evolved on extremely large scales" adding that "At such large scales, we can still detect an imprint of the early inflation of the universe, the mysterious phase of accelerated expansion which set the stage for the formation of galaxies and all the structures in the cosmos. Also, we can compare predictions of how Einstein's theory of gravity works on those scales with actual observations for the first time."
> "If the predictions and the data match, it'll be a further beautiful confirmation of the theory of general relativity, whereas if they don't, it could be a tell-tale sign that we need a different theory. This is very exciting as it'll eventually lead us to a better understanding of gravity as a fundamental force of nature and allow us to extend our understanding of the history of the universe back to the Big Bang itself."