Research estimates age of universe at 26.7 billion years, nearly double what was believed


How old is our universe? Image from: PXHERE
Francisco Martin León Francisco Martin León Weathered Spain 4 minutes

Astronomers have tried in many ways to discover the age of our known universe. New research makes it older than previously thought. “Our newly developed model extends the formation time of galaxies by several billion years the universe is 26.7 billion years old and not 13.7 billion years old as previously estimated“, says author Rajendra Gupta, associate professor of physics at the University of Los Angeles Faculty of Science. University of Ottawa. The work is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Calculating the age of our universe

For many years, astronomers and physicists have estimated the age of our universe measuring the time that has passed since the big bang and the study of older stars based on the redshift of light from distant galaxies. Thus, in 2021, thanks to new techniques and technological advances, the age of our universe was estimated to be 13,797 million years using the Lambda-CDM concordance model.

The primordial galaxy and Methuselah

However, many scientists were confused by the existence stars like Methuselah that appear to be older than the estimated age of our universe and the discovery of primordial galaxies at an advanced stage of evolution made possible by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Existing only about 300 million years after the Big Bang, these galaxies appear to have a level of maturity and mass typically associated with billions of years of cosmic evolution. Plus, they’re surprisingly small, which adds another layer of mystery to the equation.

Zwicky’s theory of tired light proposes that the redshift of light from distant galaxies is due to the gradual loss of photon energy over vast cosmic distances. However, it was found to be inconsistent with observations. However, Gupta found that “by allowing this theory to coexist with an expanding universe, it is possible to reinterpret the redshift as a hybrid phenomenon, not just due to expansion.”

New research

New research estimates the age of the universe at 26.7 billion years, up from the 13.7 billion years previously estimated. In addition to Zwicky’s theory of tired light, Gupta introduces the idea of ​​the evolution of “coupling constants” as postulated by Paul Dirac.

Coupling constants are fundamental physical constants that govern interactions between particles. According to Dirac, these constants could change over time. Allowing them to evolve, the time period for the formation of the first galaxies observed from Webb telescope at high redshifts it can take several hundred million years to several billion years. This provides a more plausible explanation for the advanced level of evolution and mass observed in these ancient galaxies. Gupta further suggests that the traditional interpretation of the “cosmological constant”, which represents the dark energy responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe, needs revision.

Instead, he proposes a constant that takes into account the evolution of the binding constants. This change in the cosmological model helps solve the puzzle of the small size of galaxies observed in the early universe, allowing for more precise observations. To know more: R Gupta, JWST observations of the early universe and ΛCDM cosmology, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2023). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stad2032


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