A new way has been developed by scientists to test a basic principle of Einstein's theory of General Relativity with the help of brief blasts of rare radio signals from space. The new method uses radio waves, and is known as Fast Radio Bursts.
Researchers said that it is ten to hundred times better as compared to earlier testing methods in which gamma-ray bursts were used. The method has come as a significant tribute to Albert Einstein on his first formulation of the Equivalence Principle’s 100th anniversary, which is the main component of the theory of General Relativity. It is also a major component of the concept that spacetime geometry is curved by the mass density of individual planets, galaxies, stars and other objects.
Fast Radio Bursts are described as super-brief energy blasts that last only a few milliseconds. So far, Earth has seen only nearly a dozen Fast Radio Bursts. They apparently are caused by baffling events beyond our Milky Way Galaxy, and probably outside the Local Group of galaxies, including the Milky Way.
In Space, Fast Radio Bursts travel as waves of photon particles. The number of wave crests that reach from Fast Radio Bursts per second, their ‘frequency’ is in the similar range as that of radio signals.
Senior author Peter Meszaros, professor at Pennsylvania State University in the US said, “When more-powerful detectors provide us with more observations, we also will be able to use Fast Radio Bursts as probe of their host galaxies, of the space between galaxies, of cosmic-web structure of the universe, and as test of fundamental physics”.
Meszaros added that in case Fast Radio Bursts proved to originate beyond the Milky Way Galaxy, and if accurate measurement of their distances can be done, they will come up as a new powerful tool for testing Einstein's Equivalence Principle. It could also extend the tested energy range down to radio-band frequencies.