A recent study conducted by Kyu-Hyun Chae, a professor at Sejong University in Seoul, presents strong evidence indicating a breakdown of standard gravity in low acceleration scenarios. Chae's research involved analyzing the orbital motions of widely separated binary stars, known as wide binaries, using data from the European Space Agency's Gaia space telescope. By studying up to 26,500 wide binaries within a 650 light-year range, the study highlights deviations from both Newton's law of gravitation and Einstein's general relativity.
Chae's study stands out due to its unique approach. Rather than focusing on orbits alone, Chae calculated the gravitational accelerations experienced by binary stars based on their separation or orbital period. This involved a Monte Carlo deprojection method to translate observed sky-projected motions into three-dimensional space.
Interestingly, Chae's findings reveal that binary star systems with accelerations below approximately one nanometer per second squared begin to deviate from the expected predictions. At accelerations lower than about 0.1 nanometer per second squared, the observed accelerations were notably 30-40% higher than predicted by traditional theories. These deviations are statistically significant, meeting the criteria for scientific discovery.
Chae's study also sheds light on a theory proposed decades ago by theoretical physicist Mordehai Milgrom. This theory, called Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND), suggests a breakdown of Newton-Einstein physics in scenarios of weak acceleration. Chae's results align with this theory and even predict a boost factor consistent with a MOND-based Lagrangian theory of gravity known as AQUAL.
The implications of Chae's study are profound. It challenges the prevailing notions of dark matter and dark energy, which play significant roles in standard gravity and cosmology. Instead, Chae's findings suggest that MOND phenomena could offer a new perspective on gravity's behavior in the low acceleration limit.
While these findings are groundbreaking, experts in the field emphasize the importance of independent confirmation and further analysis to solidify these results. The potential implications extend across astrophysics, cosmology, and fundamental physics, marking a potential revolution in our understanding of gravity and the universe.