Not Again, Now We Have New Age Of The Universe

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Well, YES. Now we have a new age of the universe. Physicists at the University of Oregon, United States, suggest that the universe might be 1.2 Billion years younger than we previously thought. In their scientific paper, they proposed that the age of the universe is 12.6 billion years, not the previous one done by Edwin Hubble himself.

This paper was recently published in the Astronomical Journal. The paper titled, “Using the Baryonic Tully–Fisher Relation to Measure H o” is authored by the University of Oregon’s Professor James Schombert. Co-authors on the paper were Stacy McGaugh of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and Federico Lelli of Cardiff University, United Kingdom. On the other hand, NASA and the National Science Foundation supported the research.

Here is the list of things I will be discussing in this article.

  1. Discovery of the age of the universe
  2. Hubble’s calculation of the age of the universe
  3. Recent calculations of the age of the universe
  4. Current calculation of the age of the universe


Discovery Of The Age Of The Universe

Well, maybe Einstein’s view; his assumption of the cosmological constant would be his biggest blunder. But, for the rest of the physical world, we got the notion of an expanding universe. In other words, Hubble’s law of cosmic expansion is nothing but a by-product of Einstein’s General Relativity. Perhaps, the big bang model of the universe too.

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In fact, with the discovery of cosmic expansion, the idea of the static universe became obsolete. In addition, there is only one main difference between the static universe and the contracting or expanding universe. I mean, in a static universe, the universe is both spatially (space) infinite and temporally (time) infinite.

On the other hand, in an expanding or contracting universe, the universe is both spatially finite and temporally finite. In layman, in the static universe, space and time are absolute. On the other hand, in contracting or expanding the universe space and time is finite or simply relative.

In case, if you don’t know, apart from the static universe, there are so many cosmological models of the universe that have become obsolete. You can check this article for further knowledge about the different obsolete cosmological models of the universe.


Edwin Hubble’s Calculation Of The Age Of The Universe

An unchanging key for the calculation of the age of the universe is the Hubble constant. Well, you can see, the Hubble constant is named after Edwin Hubble, the namesake of the Hubble Space Telescope. Edwin Hubble was the first physicist to calculate the universe’s expansion rate in 1929.

According to the calculation done by Edwin Hubble himself, the Hubble parameter is equal to 70 kilometers/second per megaparsec. One megaparsec is equal to 3.09×1019 km. A parsec is about 3.3 light-years. Therefore, in terms of the original Hubble constant, the cosmic age of the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years.

However, from the title of this article, it is evident that maybe now we have a new age of the universe. Meaning, Physicists at the University of Oregon, United States have calculated a new mathematical value of the Hubble constant.

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Recent Calculation Of The Age Of The Universe

Well, a recent paper published by Schombert and colleagues is not the first one to raise a dispute with the original Hubble parameter. In fact, in past decades; we have seen so many different outcomes related to the disputed cosmic age of the universe.

Dating the Big Bang, which gave birth to the universe, has relied on mathematics and computational modeling. This method is solved using distance estimates to the oldest stars, the behavior of galaxies, and the rate of the universe’s expansion.

The idea is to compute how long it would take all objects to travel backward to the beginning. Traditional measuring techniques over the past 50 years have set the value at 75, while the cosmic microwave approach computes a rate of 67. The techniques should still arrive at the same estimate, Schombert said in the press release.

“The tension in the field occurs from the fact that it does not,” he said. “This difference is well outside the observational errors and produced a great deal of friction in the cosmological community”.

Calculations drawn from observations of NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe in 2013 put the age of the universe at 13.77 billion years, which, for the moment, represents the standard model of Big Bang cosmology.


Current Calculation Of The Age Of The Universe

A more recent technique uses observations of leftover radiation from the Big Bang. It maps echoes in spacetime, known as the cosmic microwave background, and reflects conditions in the early universe as set by the Hubble constant. The science for such research, Schombert said, is ruled by mathematical patterns expressed in equations that often reach different conclusions.

The universe’s age, under the differing scenarios, ranges from 12 billion to 14.5 billion years. “The distance scale problem, as it is known, is incredibly difficult because the distances to galaxies are vast and the signposts for their distances are faint and hard to calibrate,” he said.

Schombert and colleagues used a new approach, recalibrating a distance-measuring tool known as the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation independently of the Hubble constant.

They took the distances of 50 galaxies, as determined in part with help from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and used that hard data to estimate the distances of 95 other galaxies. This approach better accounts for the mass and rotational curves of galaxies than data used to build previous equations.

Schombert’s team set the Hubble constant at 75.1 kilometers per second per megaparsec, give or take 2.3. Therefore, All Hubble’s constant values lower than 70, his team wrote, can be ruled out with 95 percent confidence.

“Our resulting value is on the high side of the different schools of cosmology, signaling that our understanding of the physics of the universe is incomplete, with the hope of new physics in the future,” he said.

Hence, when Next time there’s an argument about the age of the universe, just say it’s 12.6 billion years old. Simply because the University of Oregon physicist Jim Schombert has the equation to back it up.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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