Re­search chal­lenge

Hinckley Times - - NEWS -

A BREAK­THROUGH in the study of physics could be com­ing up at the Univer­sity of Le­ices­ter.

An in­ter­na­tional team of re­searchers will look at how the uni­verse works out­side of the con­fines of planet Earth, and if the ba­sic laws of physics vary.

Pro­fes­sor Martin Barstow, from the univer­sity, said the re­sults will hope­fully “chal­lenge cur­rent the­o­ret­i­cal ideas in cos­mol­ogy.”

The work will specif­i­cally look at if the laws are the same in the dense con­di­tions of a dy­ing white dwarf star, un­der­go­ing ex­treme grav­ity, as they are on Earth.

Re­searchers are us­ing the light of white dwarf stars os­berved with the Hub­ble Space Tele­scope to con­duct the re­search.

A pre­lim­i­nary anal­y­sis has al­ready been pub­lished in the on­line jour­nal, Uni­verse.

Light from the depth of the star passes through heavy met­als, leav­ing a ‘fin­ger­print’ in the stars’ light that can be stud­ied.

Dif­fer­ences in the wave­lengths of the light, com­pared to ex­per­i­ments here on Earth, in­di­cate dif­fer­ences in the fun­da­men­tal laws of physics.

Lev­er­hulme Trust Re­search Grant funded the project.

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