Ateneo Physics alumni Reinabelle Reyes in National Geographic Daily News March 2010: Einstein’s Gravity Confirmed on a Cosmic Scale

From the National Geographic Daily News (10 March 2010):

For the new study, appearing this week in the journal Nature, astrophysicist Reinabelle Reyes and colleagues looked at data gathered from more than 70,000 bright, elliptical galaxies.

The team found that the galaxies, located up to 3.5 billion light-years from Earth, are clustered together in precisely the way that general relativity predicts.

“From the galaxies’ positions, we can tell how clustered they are. That gives us information about how gravity acts, because that’s what gravity does—it pulls things together,” said Reyes, of Princeton University in New Jersey.

By combining measurements of the galaxies’ clustering with other properties—such as the galaxies’ movements relative to one another and the way they bend each other’s light—Reyes’s team calculated EG, a quantity physicists use when looking at objects’ expected interactions.

General relativity predicts that EG should be around 0.4. The value of EG measured in the study was 0.39.

Reinabelle Reyes took her B.S. Physics in Ateneo de Manila University (2000-2005) and graduated Summa cum Laude. Her undergraduate thesis is entitled “Relativistic Velocity Addition Law from Successive Non-Collinear Lorentz Boosts Using Geometric Algebra.” Reinabelle was the class valedictorian of Batch 2001 of the Philippine Science High School. She obtained her diploma in High Energy Physics from the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy (2005-2006).  She is currently taking her Ph.D. in Astrophysics in Princeton University.

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