A team of astronomers employed Chandra to collect data, which allowed them to evaluate a complex theory that could serve as a link between known physics. String theory argues that all the known forces and interactions can be tied together into a unified framework. As such, it serves as an umbrella-type theory of everything, which could eliminate some of the puzzles associated with our knowledge of the physical universe.
It is not a new theory, as several versions have been debated and shot down by the scientific community in the last decades, but it remains quite popular. A significant milestone has been reached by a team of experts who harnessed the potential of the Chandra X-ray observatory to perform a series of observations.
Chandra was pointed towards several galactic clusters, which are known to be the most significant known structures in the visible universe. Despite their impressive size, they are held together by gravitational forces.
String Theory tested by astrophysicists with Chandra
The team searched for a particular type of particle that continually appears in variations of the string theory, but they did not find anything notable. While the lack of evidence does not dismiss the theory completely, the credibility of some models which relied on the target particle has been compromised.
According to one of the experts who contributed to the study, the data collected by X-ray astronomers could be more useful than it was previously thought. The particles that were the object of the search are known under the name of the axion. It is theorized that axions have very low masses, ranging from approximately one-millionth of the mass of an electron to zero mass.
Select experts argue that axions could be used to explore and explain the nature of dark matter, which can be found in vast quantities across the universe. Until actual detections take place, researchers will have perfect the current theories. A paper was published in a scientific journal.