For long, it was felt that the universe was a fractal structure. But now, astronomers have discovered that at large scales, universe is smooth.

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For long, it has been thought that universe has a fractal structure, which means that it isn’t smooth due to the random clusters and superclusters of galaxies. Now the astronomers have discovered that when viewed at large scales, the universe is indeed smooth.


Universe

It has never been proved that universe is fractal. The assumption was based purely on the observation that often, clusters and superclusters were randomly distributed across the universe.

However, such a distribution at large scale could have posed a critical problem. According to a new paper which confirms universe’s smooth structure, if universe was fractal at large scales, this would have meant that “Einstein’s equations are being wrongly applied, and our understanding of things like dark energy could be deeply flawed.”

Thankfully, the new findings are consistent with Einstein’s equations. During the course of the research on which the paper is based, the team made use of WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey which shows 24,000 galaxies across the universe. The team created imaginary spheres around these galaxies and then counter the number of galaxies within a certain part of the universe. It then calculated the number of galaxies that should exist in the same area if they were evenly distributed.

The two numbers were precisely equal, showing that the universe is indeed smooth and galaxies, though apparently random looking, are evenly distributed. Once you move out from small scale to large scale, the universe starts looking smoother. Given below is a video which shows how this conclusion was achieved.

Source: Research paper

Courtesy: The Verge

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  On August 24, 2012(1 year, 12 months ago.)

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