Space-time symmetry is one of Special Relativity’s most fundamental principles. Now, it has passed its most rigorous test yet.
Scientists never cease to discuss Einstein’s theory of general relativity and to question its fundamental principles.
In their attempts to make a watertight physical framework, physicists have put Einstein’s relativistic axiom to a long series of increasingly rigorous tests.
In the latest effort, a team of physicists tried testing another foundation stone within the framework of Special Relativity and, once again, proved its validity.
Still no Violation Found of the Lorentz Symmetry
The Universe may not be constant like Einstein liked it to be, but the laws of physics are as he predicted, says a new study.
If we mostly link the notion of symmetry to aesthetics, its meaning for the Universe and modern physics is more critical.
A key principle of Special Relativity, the Lorentz Invariant, or Lorentz Symmetry, basically states that the laws of physics around an object with unchanging speed remain the same, independently of the observer’s point of reference.
The most known constant that emerges from the Lorentz Symmetry is perhaps the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), which is salient to Relativity theory and central to astrophysics.
Theoretically, the Lorentz Invariance principle applies to all objects, regardless of their complexity or mass.
If scientists can prove the violation of this symmetry principle only once, it would have huge repercussions. In fact, it would call for new laws to be written for astrophysics in general.
From gravity to photons, scientists have long searched for any cases of Lorentz violations, but to no avail.
The most recent study in this regard come from MIT researchers who looked for instances of a Lorentz violation with neutrinos, one of the smallest objects in nature.
Yet again, they didn’t find any.
Even Neutrinos Don’t Violate the Lorentz Symmetry
The smallest of all elementary particles, neutrinos are pretty much everywhere. They’re so tiny that they’re phasing through you at this very moment without you being able to see or feel them.
Neutrinos aren’t as elusive as Dark matter’s WIMPs, though.
There are many telescopes and detectors dedicated to the search of neutrinos around the world.
The largest neutrino detector in the world is located in the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in the South Pole, which is basically a one gigaton ice cube buried 2,500 meters underground, embedded with thousands of sensors.
Scientists from different countries and disciplines are analyzing data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory for various research purposes.
The research team from MIT looked at neutrino data to see if they could find any abnormalities, but their results: “rule out the possibility of Lorentz violation in neutrinos within the high energy range that the researchers analyzed. The results establish the most stringent limits to date on the existence of Lorentz violation in neutrinos. They also provide evidence that neutrinos behave just as Einstein’s theory predicts.”
At the time Einstein formulated his theory, neutrinos weren’t even named, yet they adhere to it.
“I can’t tell if people are cheering for [Einstein] to be right or wrong,” said MIT physicist Janet Conrad, one of the paper’s lead authors, “but he wins in this one, and that’s kind of great. To be able to come up with as versatile a theory as he has done is an incredible thing.”