Gravitational Waves Could Showcase The Universe Expansion Rate Better Than Anything Else

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In recent years scientists have been split into two sides, each of them trying to measure the universe expansion rate with the help of a different model. A third method which employs gravitational waves could offer more data and bring an end to the war.

Gravitational waves are minor ripples in time and space. They were observed in 2015 with the help of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (also known as LIGO). It is well-known that the universe has been expanding for more than 13.8 billion years. The speed at which the universe expands is known in the scientific community as the Hubble constant.

The best methods which are currently used to calculate the Hubble constant offer different results, inferring that our current understanding of the universe and the use of the standard cosmological model could be imperfect. A new study argues that gravitational waves could be used to offer a valid answer without the need to worry about other factors.

The Universe Expansion Rate Could Be Better Calculated With Gravitational Waves

One of the methods which are used to measure the Hubble constant involves the observation of Cepheid stars and other supernovae which are present in the nearby universe while the other relies on measuring the background radiation.

Independent data related to the gravitational waves released by 50 binary neutron stars could solve the dilemma. By observing the stars over a decade, the researchers are confident that they will be able to gather enough information to determine which method is the best for determining the Hubble constant.

Binary neutron stars emit gravitational waves when they spiral towards each other before they crash, releasing a powerful flash of light which can be observed with the help of telescopes. While binary neutron stars are rare, they can offer valuable information about the rate at which the universe expands since the gravitational waves emitted by them can be detected and tracked by LIGO and Virgo. The study was published in a scientific journal.