What's the Latest Development?
Mathematicians at the University of California, Davis, have shown that shockwaves in a perfect fluid affect the curvature of space-time, the four-dimensional fabric which binds our Universe and is warped by energy and the flow of energy. "We show that spacetime cannot be locally flat at a point where two shockwaves collide," says , professor of mathematics at UC Davis. "This is a new kind of singularity in general relativity." In mathematical models, Temple showed that the point at which two waves collide produces a singularity known as a 'regularity singularity.'
What's the Big Idea?
What surprised the mathematicians the most is that such a simple reaction can disrupt the space-time continuum and that their equations fit perfectly in line with Einstein's theory of general relativity, specifically his equations for a perfect fluid. Similar to a black hole, in which the curvature of space-time is so severe that no energy—not even light—can escape, "Temple says that a singularity can be more subtle where just a patch of spacetime cannot be made to look locally flat in any coordinate system." This discovery of a new space-time singularity is a once-in-a-generation discovery, said Temple.
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