Two astrophysicists from the Vatican Observatory claim to have discovered a “radically new mathematical approach to the initial moment of the Big Bang,” the Holy See Press Office announced in a statement on April 29, 2022.
Fathers Gabriele Gionti and Matteo Galaverni are questioning the reliability of the mathematical approach to gravity known as the “Brans-Dicke gravitational theory” and propose a “very promising new technique for understanding the behavior of gravity in the very first moments of the universe.”
In an article published on April 15 in the prestigious journal Physical Review D, the two Italian priests envisage the existence of a new “framework” for apprehending gravity in which “the gravitational force extends to infinity while that the speed of light approaches zero.” This “new perspective” could both provide a better understanding of the beginnings of the Universe, the theories on its “rapid initial expansion,” in particular that of the Russian Alexei Starobinsky, and the search for a “more general quantum theory of seriousness,” say its authors.
These two priests place themselves, through their work, in the prestigious line of Catholic scientists who have advanced physical science. They recall the contributions of Fathers Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Francesco Maria Grimaldi on gravity in the 17th century (who discovered the phenomenon of acceleration due to gravity) and Georges Lemaître, inventor of the theory known today as of “Big Bang theory” at the beginning of the 20th century.
Created in 1891 by Leo XIII, the Vatican Observatory, based in Castel Gandolfo, aims to “show the world that the Church supports good science.” Today, it mainly operates from Tucson in Arizona (USA) where a high-tech telescope has been installed to take full advantage of the starry sky.