Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bizzare discovery will be used to test the theory.

The discovery of a very unique triple-star system 4,200 light years away could upset Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.  Or it might not. Despite the sensational headlines, the discovery stands a better chance of affirming his work, just as all previous experiments have done.

Einstein's theory isn't perfect, but nobody has found precisely what can fix it.

Einstein's theory isn't perfect, but nobody has found precisely what can fix it.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the Journal Nature, scientists from the University of British Columbia announced their discovery of a unique three-star system made of two dwarf stars and a pulsar.

Stars are basically balls of hydrogen gas in space which are so massive the hydrogen in their cores fuses into helium and releases heat and light in the process. This is what makes stars shine. Some stars are much larger than others, and their ages vary. As the hydrogen in a star's core is all fused into helium, the helium then begins to fuse, and heavier and heavier elements are forged until the star explodes under massive pressure that it can no longer counteract with fusion.

If the conditions are just right, the core of a star may collapse so much that it can form a pulsar. A pulsar is the dead core of a star that can be smaller than Earth in size, but so dense that a thimbleful of matter from it could weigh more than a mountain on Earth.

That small size and density cause the star to rotate rapidly, often hundreds of times per second. The pulsar beams out energy like a lighthouse beam, and can be spotted if that beam sweeps past Earth. So reliable is the spin that scientists use it for other observations. In fact, pulsars are even more precise than atomic clocks.

Enter the other two stars of the system, a pair of white dwarfs. A white dwarf star is a star like our sun, but even smaller. These three stars orbit around a common center of gravity, pretty much as expected. However, scientists are interested in taking precise measurements of every interaction within the system as a test of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

General Relativity basically says that the mass of an object, as well as the motion and energy associated with it, can warp the fabric of the fourth-dimension, known as "spacetime."

Headlines of the recent day proclaimed this to be the big chance for scientists to debunk Einstein's Theory. It's true, this is their chance, although he odds are slim. So far, there is no indication that Einstein is somehow wrong.

However, the nature of the system will allow hyper-precise measurements of everything in it, so any deviation from the predictions will send scientists to the blackboard to make new calculations.

Although General Relativity is widely accepted by scientists, there are indications that the theory needs additional explanation. Studies of quantum mechanics as well as research involving black holes suggests the theory does break down at some level. Scientists need all the experimental data they can acquire to locate the breakage and develop an improvement upon the theory. Such a discovery would warrant a Nobel Prize and would make someone's career-although none have yet accomplished this feat.

This is the reason for the hype over the discovery of the three-star system with a pulsar in it. If scientists are going to find the flaw in the theory, a stellar system 4,200 light years away appears to be just the place to start.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Is Facebook changing? Facebook plans to conquer the virtual world this year Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facebook's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer promised that the Virtual Reality (VR) program will come into life within the year. The Oculus headset, which was on their top secret list before, was announced to be available soon, but the exact release date is not ... continue reading


Smartphones and Internet may be putting your child's mental health in jeopardy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil

The number of young people being admitted for mental treatments since 2010 has rapidly increased. Julie Lynn Evans, a psychotherapist for over 25 years now, is grateful for the additional funding being sent into mental health services, but she believes the dilemma ... continue reading


Stealth fighter jets in U.S. set to get massive upgrades Watch

Image of Pentagon officials have stressed the importance of developing the new long-range strike bomber calling it critical to national security and nuclear deterrence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mainstay of United States military defense, stealth bombers have been around since the Seventies. The Air Force's aging fleet is now ready for an expensive makeover. The Pentagon intends to develop a high-priority, super-classified, next-generation bomber. ... continue reading


Will you say 'hello' to Barbie? Mattel's new Barbie doll is 'creeping out' parents, raising concerns of privacy Watch

Image of Hello Barbie will allow its owner to carry on a conversation through recorded audio and WiFi.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classic toy doll, Barbie, has been reinvented after the makers, Mattel received numerous requests for a Barbie doll that kids can talk to, according to a spokesperson of the toy company. Mattel's response is WiFi connected "Hello Barbie" that comes with an installed ... continue reading


Scientists find way to eliminate inherited diseases with genetically modified human eggs Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New gene-editing techniques are being improved and could soon eliminate inherited diseases from future generations by modifying the DNA of human egg cells. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although the idea of editing chromosomes in human eggs or sperm is feared, ... continue reading


Hidden spy cameras discovered at United States post office, installation confirmed by USPIS Watch

Image of freerepublic.com

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden camera disappeared just after an hour of being discovered at a Denver local post office, Fox31 Denver reported. People became alarmed that they are being watched as they drop-off their mails with the possibility of the camera collecting their facial features ... continue reading


Your selfie can now be seen by millions: Charity campaign puts selfies on billboards for donations Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By participating in the Ultimate Selfie Campaign (#ultimateselfiecampaign), people can now have millions of people across the United States see their selfie or favorite photo on digital billboards, while helping charities with a $25 donation. The project was an ... continue reading


BIG, BIG things predicated on Apple's 'Smartwatch' Watch

Image of A solid gold version aimed at the very rich will tarnish a brand that promises

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Apple remains unusually successful, there are already naysayers lining up to predict that the company's forthcoming "Smartwatch" will be a flop. Many details about the new gadget remain under wraps. Questions remain about the watch's price, the battery ... continue reading


Let there be light: New urine-powered light bulbs bring light to refugee camps Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Pee Power" is what the people are calling this strange innovation. British students and researchers, from the University of the West of England and the OxFam global aid agency, have invented a mode in which light bulbs can be powered by urine. The University has ... continue reading


Zombie Apocalypse: Safest plan is to 'head for the hills,' according to experts Watch

Image of In the event of a zombie apocalypse, cities would fall quickly. However, it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the event the dead return to life and begin to cannibalize the living, turning them into hordes of the shuffling undead, theoretically - there would be few options. Researchers at Cornell University offer a practical bit of advice should this happen - head ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 49:1-6
1 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, John 13:21-33, 36-38
21 Having said this, Jesus was deeply disturbed and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 31st, 2015 Image

St. Benjamin
March 31: St. Benjamin, Martyr (Feast Day - March 31) The Christians in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter