A study of the orbital motions of broad binaries revealed evidence that scalar gravity collapses at low acceleration. The discovery is consistent with a modified theory called MOND and challenges current notions of dark matter. The implications for astrophysics, physics and cosmology are profound, and the findings have been recognized as an important discovery by experts in the field.
A new study reports compelling evidence of record-breaking gravitational collapse at the lower acceleration limit, resulting from a verifiable analysis of the orbital motions of long, widely spaced binary stars. These stars are commonly referred to as broad binaries in astronomy and astrophysics. The study was conducted by Kyu-Hyun Chae, a professor of physics and astronomy at Sejong University in Seoul, and used up to 26,500 wide binaries within 650 light-years (LY), which were spotted by the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope.
For a significant improvement over other research, Chai’s study focused on calculating the gravitational accelerations experienced by binary stars as a function of their separation, or equivalently, orbital period. This was achieved by Monte Carlo projection of the observed sky projection motions into three-dimensional space.
Zhai explains, “From the outset, it seemed clear to me that gravity could be experienced directly and effectively by calculating acceleration because the gravitational field itself is an acceleration. My recent research experiences with galactic rotation curves led me to this idea. Galactic disks and wide binaries share some similarities in Their orbits, although broad binaries follow very long orbits while hydrogen gas molecules in a galactic disk follow nearly circular orbits.”
In addition, Chae calibrated the incidence rate of hidden interfering internal diodes at standard acceleration, in contrast to other studies.
The study revealed that when two stars orbit each other with accelerations of less than about one nanometer per second squared, they begin to deviate from the predictions of Newton’s law of universal gravitation and Einstein’s general relativity. For accelerations below approximately 0.1 nanometers per second squared, the observed acceleration is about 30 to 40 percent higher than the Newton-Einstein prediction. The significance is significant, and it meets the traditional 5 sigma criteria for a scientific discovery. In a sample of 20,000 wide diodes within a 650 LY distance limit, two independent accelerator strains respectively exhibit deviations of more than 5 sigma significance in the same direction.
Since the observed acceleration stronger than about 10 nanometers per second squared agrees well with the Newton-Einstein prediction from the same analysis, the observed increase in acceleration at lower accelerations is a puzzle. Interestingly, this collapse of the Newton-Einstein theory at weakest acceleration was proposed 40 years ago by theoretical physicist Mordehai Milgrom at the Weizmann Institute in Israel in a new theoretical framework called Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) or Milgrom dynamics in current usage.
The enhancement factor of about 1.4 was correctly predicted by a MOND-type Lagrangian theory of gravity called AQUAL, which was proposed by Milgrom and the late physicist Jacob Bekenstein. What is remarkable is that the correct reinforcement factor requires the influence of the external field from milky way Galaxy, a unique MOND-modified gravity prediction. Thus, the extensive binary data indicate not only a breakdown of Newtonian dynamics but also a manifestation of an external field effect of modulated gravity.
About the results, Chai says, “It seems impossible that some unknown conspiracy or methodology could have caused these accelerometer-dependent collapses of scalar gravity in agreement with AQUAL. I have examined all of the systematics as described in the rather long paper. The results are real. I expect that the results will be confirmed and refined with better and larger data in the future. I have also released all of my code for the sake of transparency and to serve any interested researcher.”
Effects and limitations
Unlike the galactic rotation curves, where the observed enhanced acceleration could theoretically be attributed to dark matter in standard Newton-Einstein gravity, the broad binary dynamics could not be affected by them even if they were present. Standard gravity simply collapses into the weak acceleration limit according to the MOND framework.
The implications of broad binary dynamics are profound in astrophysics, theoretical physics and cosmology. The deviations observed in the orbits of Mercury in the nineteenth century eventually led to Einstein’s general relativity. Deviations now in wide binaries require a new theory that extends general relativity to the MOND low acceleration limit.
For all the successes of Newtonian gravity, general relativity is essential to relativistic gravitational phenomena such as black holes and gravitational waves. Likewise, despite all the successes of general relativity, a new theory is needed for the MOND phenomenon in the weak acceleration limit. The cataclysm of weak gravitational acceleration may have some resemblance to the ultraviolet cataclysm of classical electrodynamics that led to quantum physics.
A revolution in physics
Wide binary aberrations are disastrous for standard gravity and a cosmology that relies on concepts of dark matter and dark energy. Since gravity follows MOND, the large amount of dark matter in galaxies (and even in the Universe) is no longer needed. This is a big surprise to Chai who, like normal scientists, “believed” in dark matter until a few years ago.
It seems that a new revolution in physics is underway. Regarding the current findings and future prospects, Milgrom says, “The discovery of Chai is the result of a very in-depth analysis of cutting-edge data, which, as far as I can judge, has been performed with great care and precision. But for such a discovery as far-reaching—and it is, in fact, far-reaching— We need confirmation through independent analyses, preferably with better future data.If this anomaly is confirmed as a collapse of Newtonian dynamics, and especially if it does indeed agree with MOND’s most direct predictions, it would have enormous implications for astrophysics, cosmology, and fundamental physics in general. “
Xavier Hernandez, a professor at UNAM in Mexico who first proposed extensive binary tests of gravity a decade ago, says, “It is exciting that the departure from Newtonian gravity that my group has claimed for a while has been independently confirmed, and it is impressive that this has been identified.” Departure correctly for the first time as it accurately corresponds to a detailed MOND model.Never seen before Accuracy From the Gaia satellite, Chae’s large and carefully selected sample and his detailed analysis make his results strong enough to qualify as a discovery.”
Pavel Krupa, a professor at the University of Bonn and Charles University in Prague, came to the same conclusions regarding the law of gravity. He says, “With this test on wide binaries as well as our tests on open star clusters close to the Sun, the data now convincingly indicate that gravity is Milgromian rather than Newtonian. The implications for all astrophysics are enormous.”
The discovery was published in the August 1, 2023 issue of the Astrophysical Journal.
Reference: “Record Newton-Einstein Gravity Collapse at Low Accelerations in the Internal Dynamics of Massive Binary Stars” by Kyu Hyun-chae, July 24, 2023, Available here. Astrophysical Journal.
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