Latest in Science

Image credit:

Researcher finds a way to mimic curves in space-time

37 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Here on Earth, it's rather difficult to replicate curved space-time -- to get that kind of effect in nature, you'd have to get uncomfortably close to black holes and other distant space objects. However, researcher Nikodem Szpak may have found a way to simulate that bend without facing oblivion. His proposed technique puts supercooled atoms in an optical lattice created by a laser field; so long as the laws of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics hold true, the atoms should behave like they're experiencing curved space-time. You can even change the lattice's pattern to mimic different circumstances, whether it's a moment right after the Big Bang or the surface of a star.

Scientists will want to confirm that the technique works in practice, which could take a long time. You'd be freezing atoms to near absolute zero, for one thing. If the technique pans out, though, it could be very helpful for understanding the universe. You could verify complex space-time theories in the lab instead of simply trusting that your math is on the ball, or test advanced spaceflight concepts without having to build a ship. This is just a stepping stone toward bigger ideas and technologies, but it's potentially a huge one.

[Image credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
37 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The Morning After: The iPhone 11 reviews are in

The Morning After: The iPhone 11 reviews are in

View
Google Home speakers can now make mobile calls, starting in Australia

Google Home speakers can now make mobile calls, starting in Australia

View
Outsight's 3D camera for autonomous cars can identify clothing and ice

Outsight's 3D camera for autonomous cars can identify clothing and ice

View
Apple iPhone 11 review: So good you (probably) don’t need the Pro

Apple iPhone 11 review: So good you (probably) don’t need the Pro

View
Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review: Better, but not groundbreaking

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review: Better, but not groundbreaking

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr