Monday, October 4, 2021

Scientists determine galaxy age using Einstein's huge ring

 Einstein's rings are curious objects.  More than that, they defy common sense.  To understand them, it is necessary to have some notion of modern physics.  That is, the ideas of physics developed or refined in the 20th century.  Some call this century the “century of extremes,” according to the book by well-known historian Eric Hobsbawm.  And, in fact, in a short time, a lot happened. 

 There have been major drastic and successive changes in terms of politics, economics and even geography.  It was also, however, a time of explosion of ideas, with several new points of view emerging and challenging the foundations of thought and science.  And of course, physics is also included there.

 We generally classify the theories of relativity and quantum physics (or mechanics) as modern physics.  From that, we remember great minds like Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Richard Feynman, Marie Curie, Werner Heisenberg, among others.  There were also great physicists among Brazilians, like the renowned Mario Schenberg.  Scientific advances are not exactly due to flashes of genius, however.  They are, in fact, a large collective construction, involving theoretical, experimental and instrumentation-oriented scientists.  Everything between hits and misses and very well documented methods.

 Despite this, it is undeniable that these great minds end up serving as a bridge connecting the world of scientists and people.  Just as they made outstanding contributions to the history of knowledge.  Einstein's rings, as their name shows, are the result of the most famous theory of German genius.  That is, relativity.

 Image: Hubble

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