“There are billions of stars in our galaxy and hundreds of galaxies. Our universe is just one of many”-Stephen Hawking
What if we told you that another version of you exists in another universe that you are not aware of? What if there are infinite versions of an event that just played out in your life, each playing out differently, and yet you can’t actually influence any of them? While it may sound scary, it is not impossible to find that a copy of you or your loved one exists, living in an entirely different universe! This school of thought is more commonly known as parallel universes, and has been a very fascinating subject that questions the laws of the world as we know it.
However, while some scientists dismissed this theory as fiction, more proof is coming in about the existence of these alternate universes. Yes, it is not the first time someone has thought of the possibility of the existence of parallel universes, but recent evidences have led to scientists exploring their options while they try to find a concrete explanation for them.
In a this scientific discovery, made in Antarctica, that may feel right out of sci-fi plot hole, NASA has detected substantial evidence which could be one of the first ever practically unexplainable events, that suggest the existence of a parallel universe where time moves backwards and the rules of physics are contrary to ours.
The origin of theories related to Parallel Universes
By now it is very clear that our earth is a very minute existence in the cosmos, and inspite of all the knowledge humanity has gathered; it is still discovering new revelations every now and then. Sir Isaac Newton rightly said, “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”
The concept of parallel universes is something that looks as if it’s right out of movies or fan fiction, but has certainly aroused the curiosity of viewers and readers everywhere.
The idea of existence of parallel universes was first conceived by a Princeton University student, Hugh Everett III, back in 1954. In his theory he wrote about the possibility of parallel universes, or universes that look exactly like and are related to ours existing, that branch off from ours. This theory, known as Everett’s ‘Many worlds theory’, was one of the most plausible attempts to answer the numerous unanswered questions raised by Quantum physics.
Everett’s approach of this theory contradicted many of the currently accepted laws of physics, and it made many scientists uncomfortable, the thought that the outcome of an event could have been different in another universe at every different time juncture, even having differences as drastic as life and death.
Possibility of many kinds of parallel universes
Everett’s theory of many worlds suggests that parallel universes stem from every change in our universe, generating a new reality at every event. For example, a universe where a car crash actually happens, might be mirrored by another one where the car crash doesn’t happen at all, or many other possibilities, and that all these realities exist simultaneously superimposed, but absolutely cannot interact with each other or influence each other.
Another school of thought says that there are multiple universes that exist outside the boundary of our known universe, and that the Big Bang gave birth to these multiple universes simultaneously.
The hot Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago marked the start of our observable Universe, but it wasn’t the actual beginning. Before the Big Bang, there was a radically distinct phase of the Universe that set up and gave origin to the Big Bang: cosmic inflation.
It happens when and when inflation ceases, and it’s plausible that black holes from our world might be gateways to a Big Bang in another universe, due to how light and even time works differently around them.
This might mean another “you” might be living on another version of the earth in a parallel universe, who is totally different than your own self!
These universes might have very different laws of physics from our own, even with a non-linear flow of time, unlike ours.
The idea that our universe could be just another tiny existence out of a huge multiverse net is truly fascinating and awe-inspiring.
New discovery made in Antarctica may reveal evidence on parallel universes
A report has recently appeared claiming that evidence for parallel Universes has been discovered using the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna: ANITA. True, the experiment discovered evidence for cosmic ray particles that is challenging to explain with conventional physics alone.
The ANITA experiment, which uses a balloon to detect radio waves, discovered radio waves with a specific set of energy and orientations originating from beneath the Antarctic ice.
Neutrinos are ethereal particles that are essentially undetectable to ordinary matter — they pass through all types of matter, making detection extremely challenging.
While many neutrinos travel through us as a result of the Sun, stars, or the Big Bang, others come from extremely intense astrophysical sources such as pulsars, black holes, supernovae, or even mysterious, undiscovered objects.
Neutrinos were made in staggering numbers at the time of the Big Bang. Like the cosmic background radiation the neutrinos now possess little kinetic energy, due to expansion of the universe.
As of now, we only have a lower limit on the total mass in this free floating ghostly gas of neutrinos, but even so it is roughly equivalent to the total mass of all the visible stars in the universe.
How Does ANITA’s discovery suggest the existence of Parallel Universes?
The notion was that high-energy tau neutrinos were found moving upwards through the Earth, informing us that there is no astrophysical point source out there that is indirectly producing the particles that ANITA is indirectly detecting.
Neutrinos are generally expected to be coming to earth from outer space, detected while passing Earth, but these Neutrinos seemed to be coming out of the Earth itself, with nothing particularly emitting them, almost as if these neutrinos had “time reversed for them”. There were only three possible explanations for what ANITA saw.
- Either there was an astrophysical source for these particles,
- There’s a flaw in their detector or their interpretation of the detector data,
- Something very exotic, remarkable, and beyond the Standard Model (known as CPT violation) is happening.
“The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.”– Edwin Hubble.
Past astronomers believed that the Earth was literally the centre of the universe, that there was just one solar system i.e., our own, and similarly our current scientific community believes that our universe is the only one that exists, living in denial of any other possibility. However, it is only a matter of time until we find strong and irrefutable evidence about the existence of multiple universes or multiple realities.
Yes, the scientists have observed some unnatural phenomenon through theirs tests in Antarctica, but this still does not confirm the existence of a parallel universe or a multiverse. It does raise questions about the Laws of Physics as we know it, but this is how humanity has made new and revolutionary discoveries in every field – curiosity to learn more, to know more, to uncover deeper secrets about the universe and our place in the cosmos.