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Hyderabad physicist Sidharth claimed universe is flat 23 yrs ago

Daneesh Majid  

Hyderabad: The theory presented by a Hyderabad-based physicist Dr. B G Sidharth some quarter century ago claiming that the Universe is flat has turned out to be more acceptable by the international fraternity of scientists.

Recently, news emerged that a research paper submitted by two cosmologists Dr. Seshadri Nadathur and Dr. Florian Beutler has been accepted by the Physical Review of Letters.  This deals with the same elements which Dr Sidharth had discussed 23 years ago on the subject. He had carried out research on The Universe of Fluctuations.  The paper on the subject was published in the International Journal of Modern Physics in 1998.

When contacted with Dr Sidharth to find out about the similarities in the about-to-be-published paper he went into a mood which was laced with sadness and disappointment.

Dr. Sidharth, had presented the “dark energy” model at the seventh Marcel Grossman Conference in Jerusalem in 1997. This theory was elaborated upon in his research paper. One year later, astronomers including Saul Perlmutter and Adam Reiss published their observations that confirmed Sidharth’s theory in the Astrophysics Journal. In 2011, both received a Nobel Peace Prize for their work.

Dr. Sidharth said, “It is a good development. The news gave me some happiness.  At the same time it is depressing because my own paper with similar conclusions has been superseded without my previous work being acknowledged.”

Back in 2011, he had told India Today that “I am happy that my findings have been reconfirmed, though I did not expect that the theory would fetch the Nobel Prize.”

Though a little sad, he is full of praise for the Portsmouth astronomers.

 “A lot in these cases (recognition by well-known international institutions) depends on your name and nationality. If you are based in a Third World country and have a non-Western name, such factors work against you. Plus, research carried out by Princeton University or some advanced American or British institute will garner more attention than something which has been done in developing nations.”

In the meantime, the lead author on this paper is Dr. Nadathur, a research fellow at the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) said, “This result shows the power of galaxy surveys to pin down the amount of dark energy and how it evolved over the last billion years. We were making really precise measurements now and the data is going to get even better with new surveys coming online very soon.”

Siddharth told that he would like to contact Nadathur and his co-author Dr. Florian Beutler. 

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