Up until now, scientists have suggested that as the Universe expands, its temperature gradually decreases. However, new research from Ohio State University shows otherwise – that the temperature of the Universe actually increases with its expansion.
For their study, researchers studied thermal data on the large-scale structure (LSS) of the universe (patterns of galaxies and matter on the largest cosmic scale) from the last 10 billion years. The data they used were obtained from the European Space Agency’s infrared astronomical satellite and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDS).
In particular, they used redshift measurements and temperature estimates based on light to compare more distant gas clouds’ temperatures from earlier points in time with those closest to Earth.
In doing so, they concluded that the average temperature of cosmic gas has increased more than tenfold and is now about 2.2 million K (~ 2.2 ° C; 4 million ° F).
“Our new measurement provides a direct confirmation of the seminal work by Jim Peebles – the 2019 Nobel Laureate in Physics – who laid out the theory of how the large-scale structure forms in the Universe,” says Dr. Yi-Kuan Chiang, lead author of the study.
“As the Universe evolves, gravity pulls dark matter and gas in space together into galaxies and clusters of galaxies. The drag is violent – so violent that more and more gas is shocked and heated up.”
These findings may be relevant to theories that accept and rely on space cooling. For example, the Landauer Principle states that as the universe cools, advanced species will be able to extract more from their megastructures. If it turns out that the universe is not