A group of scientists has created a computer simulation of the universe in order to test out an alternative theory to Albertn Einstein's theory of general relativity.
Their study found that galaxies similar to our own Milky Way could still form in the universe with modified laws of gravity, suggesting that the theory of relativity is not the only way to explain gravity's role in the evolution of the universe.
Physicists from Durham University in England created the computer simulations using a leading alternative model for gravity called "f(R)-gravity," also known as the "Chameleon Theory," which alters the behavior of gravity according to the surrounding environment.
Related: Einstein's Theory of Relativity Explained (Infographic) "Modified gravity theories, including [the] Chameleon Theory, had been studied by the community for a while, and a lot of their predictions were known," Baojiu Li, a physicist at the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University and co-author of the new study, told Space.com.
This constant force in the theory of general relativity can account for the expansion of the universe, but does so by including a vast amount of dark matter that cannot be observed and remains unconfirmed.
"However, alternatives to a cosmological constant, which explain the accelerated expansion by modifying the law of gravity, like f(R)-gravity, are also widely considered given how little is known about dark energy,” Li added.
However, the findings suggest that, even with different gravity laws decreasing the amount of heat being ejected by black holes, galaxies still formed in the simulated model of the universe just like they do in the actual universe.