A paper published in Classical and Quantum Gravity in early June suggests that the theory that the universe is expanding could be a mirage caused by changing particle masses over time, LiveScience reported.
Scientists have long held that the universe is expanding due to “redshift,” when the light’s wavelength shifts to the red side of the spectrum as an object moves further away.
Distant galaxies emit a higher redshift than the galaxies closer to ours, which suggests that the distant galaxies are moving further away from Earth.
Recently, researchers have found evidence that this expansion is not at a fixed rate, but is increasing. This increasing expansion is known as the “cosmological constant,” or Lambda.
However, cosmologists have described the cosmological constant as “the worst prediction in the history of physics.” In an attempt to resolve the discrepancy between differing values of Lambda, cosmologists have proposed new physical forces.
But in the study published this month, theoretical physics professor Lucas Lombriser of the University of Geneva decided to tackle the discrepancies in the cosmological constant by reconceptualizing how to “look at the cosmos.”
Lombriser told Live Science that researchers must “put on a new pair of glasses” by “performing a mathematical transformation” of the laws of physics that govern the cosmos.
According to Lombriser, the universe is flat and static, not expanding. The effects observed that suggest expansion are actually the evolution of protons and electrons over time.
These masses of particles arise from the space-time field and the cosmological constant comes from the field’s fluctuating mass.
While the cosmological constant continues to vary over time, in Lombriser’s model the fluctuation is due, not to an expanding universe, but to the changing particle mass which results in even larger redshifts for distant galaxies than that traditional models have predicted.