More than a century has passed since Einstein published his theory of general relativity, which argues that gravity is created by matter that warps spacetime. Several tests have sought to challenge the theory, but all have failed, including a recent one.
Researchers have been puzzled for a long time by the fact that it is impossible to link the theory of general relativity to quantum mechanics from a mathematical point of view. According to the general consensus, among scientists, both have to be used to understand the universe.
A team of researchers decided to test the general theory of relativity with the help of supermassive black holes. They used the first image of M87, a supermassive black hole that was photographed for the first time in 2019 with the EHT, marking a significant milestone as it was the first photo of a supermassive black hole in history.
Initial results revealed that the mass of the black hole was on par with the size anticipated by the theory. A large number of changes were made to the theory of general relativity in an attempt to highlight elements of a theory of gravity that could determine how big was the shadow of the black hole.
With a new evaluation system ready, the team learned that by measuring the size of the shadow created by the supermassive black hole, the possibility to modify the theory of general relativity was reduced by a factor of 500.
The new method, as well as gravitational-wave observations, have the potential to improve black hole astrophysics. Tests that use the new gauge system are considerably more accurate, and measuring the shadow created by a black hole is not a difficult requirement.
Further research will take place in the future as the team plans to study the supermassive black hole located in the center of our galaxy.