Chameleon Theory: How Gravity can have two faces!

Chameleon Theory cover image

Albert Einstein came up with the revolutionary Theory of Relativity which completely changed the way people perceived and understood gravity. The Newtonian understanding of gravity was discarded for most of the parts when it came to cosmic events. Although the theory has withstood the tests it has been put through, a new theory has shown up and it could be an alternative to the Theory of Relativity. This is the Chameleon Theory of Gravity. But does it have the potential to do what Theory of Relativity did to Newton’s theory? Read on.

The New Findings

The Chameleon Theory of Gravity does not disprove the Theory of relatively in any way. That theory still holds strong. What the Chameleon Theory does is that it proposes an alternate way (and probably better way) of explaining cosmic gravity interactions and how the universe works. It can very well describe the expansion of the Universe without getting too many hypothetical aspects included. So physicists from Durham University, UK, used their super-powered computers and simulated a Universe using an alternative model for gravity, called the f(R)—gravity. Informally called the Chameleon Theory.

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What does Chameleon Theory means?

The Chameleon Theory is named so because it changes behavior according to the environment. The simulations showed pictures of galaxies that still formed even when the laws of gravity were changed. This opened a bigger picture as different theories could explain the formation of galaxies and stars. The question is that can this theory or potentially other theories explain the expansion and origin of the universe without the addition of new concepts? The researchers added that this theory could also explain the mysterious Dark Energy.

Galaxy formation

Chameleon Theory
The simulated galaxy visualized from above, with the dark central regions corresponding to standard forces and the bright yellow regions corresponding to modified forces.
Image Credits : Christian Arnold/Baojiu Li/Durham University

There are supermassive black holes in the center of the galaxies. Our galaxy has a black hole in the center too, called Sagittarius A*. These black holes are responsible for the formation and destruction of galaxies. When the scientists at Durham University tweaked with the value of gravity, they observed that radial galaxies with spiral arms still formed. This opens up many possibilities as we not only have multiple things to understand but also multiple ways to understand the same thing. Will Chameleon theory ‘change’ the way we see the world? We will have to wait.

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