Scientists have discovered that a fundamental constant from physics that is used to determine electromagnetism between charged particles is not a mathematical constant.
Instead, the value appears to change from region to region in the Universe, as it was proved after measuring data from a quasar located at 13 billion light-years away.
Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental forces that make up everything in our Universe together. The other three are the weak nuclear force, gravity, and strong nuclear force.
The constant is known as the fine-structure regular.
However, the discovery might change physics as we understand it.
The new data proves that the Universe might have previously hidden ‘north’ and ‘south’ bearings, a particular direction upon which those variations can be identified.
Astrophysicist John Webb said:
“[The new study] seems to be supporting this idea that there could be a directionality in the Universe, which is very weird indeed.”
Webb talked about how the Universe might not be isotropic in its laws of physics.
“But in fact, there could be some direction or preferred direction in the Universe where the laws of physics change, but not in the perpendicular direction. In other words, the Universe, in some sense, has a dipole structure to it,” Webb added.
The electromagnetic force around us is essential for tying electrons to nuclei inside atoms.
If that force didn’t intervene, the matter would disintegrate instantly. Electromagnetism is also the source of visible light, and it is the fundamental reason why electricity works the way we know.
Help From Chile
The team of scientists has used data captured by the Very Large Telescope from Chile. The data helped them analyze the Universe in a state similar to when it was much younger and closer to the Big Bang.