Science 3 min read

Scientists Simulate Creation of Universe Based on Chameleon Theory

Maria Starovoytova /

Maria Starovoytova /

Aside from Albert Einstein‘s Theory of General Relativity, there are other theoretical models that explain how gravity affects the cosmos and help form galaxies. Among these modified gravity theories is the Chameleon Theory.

Baojiu Li, a co-author of a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy, said:

“Chameleon theory is a class of gravity theories alternative to Einstein’s general relativity. In this theory, in addition to the standard gravitational force, there is an extra force—the so-called ‘fifth force’ because it is different from the other four types of fundamental interactions.”

Li’s team from the University of Durham simulated the evolution of the universe based on the said alternative theory using powerful supercomputers. Christian Arnold, one of the researchers, explained:

“Chameleon Theory allows for the laws of gravity to be modified so we can test the effect of changes in gravity on galaxy formation. Through our simulations, we have shown for the first time that even if you change gravity, it would not prevent disc galaxies with spiral arms from forming.”

Disk galaxy like Milky Way could still form in a universe where Chameleon Theory's principles are applied
Disk galaxy like Milky Way could still form in a universe where Chameleon Theory’s principles are applied | Image courtesy of Christian Arnold/Baojiu Li | Durham University

Read More: Meet Arthur Eddington, The Genius Behind Einstein

Proving the Chameleon Theory

The Durham astrophysicists ran advanced supercomputer simulations to test if it’s possible for galaxies to form in a universe where Chameleon Theory’s principles are applied. The results revealed that Milky Way-like galaxies could still develop in this alternate universe.

Li noted:

“What we have found is that realistic galaxies like our Milky Way can form, with properties as observed, even with the complicated behavior of the fifth force—this is by no means guaranteed. It also shows that chameleon theory can make certain distinct predictions on the evolution of the large-scale structures in the universe from GR.”

According to the researchers, their findings could have significant implications in our current understanding of the cosmos. It could help shed some light about how black holes are formed and what’s their role in the formation of the universe or explain the properties of dark matter.

“This study is the first time to demonstrate that an alternative gravity theory, despite its complicated behavior of gravitational force, can still make realistic galaxies. Studies like this will help us check the feasibility of a theory, as well as identifying places where we may test the different theories of gravity using future observational data. Of course, much more work is needed to reach a final conclusion,” Li concluded.

Read More: Mirror Image Theory Suggests Existence Of An Antimatter Universe

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