One of the most exciting concepts right now is the existence of a multiverse - the notion that there are infinitely many universes. However, is this more than just sci-fi writing, and is science actually working to confirm it?
The multiverse, a theoretical scenario of multiple universes, is not a novel idea for scientists. According to Nautilus, a science publication, concepts of infinite worlds or universes can be traced as far back as the time of Ancient Greece, when it was first proposed that the collision of atoms produced infinitely many parallel universes.
Additionally, there have been genuine scientific efforts to prove whether or not we live in a multiverse. Ideas of infinite worlds and universes have been tackled, often concerning efforts to understand the beginning and the nature of the universe we live in now.
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The Big Bang Theory and Cosmic Inflation
According to an article from Space.com, The Big Bang marked the beginning of the universe with a giant explosion some 13.7 billion years ago. It then exploded outward, initially at a rate that caused it to grow 10^26 times its size before the explosion happened, all in a fraction of a second.
This process is called cosmic inflation, and it continues to push our universe to grow at an increasing rate.That is the first argument used by physicists to support the possibility of a multiverse.
Alexander Vilenkin, a theoretical physicist and the Leonard Jane Holmes Bernstein Professor of Evolutionary Science and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, presented his case in the Scientific American journal in 2011.
Vilenkin explained that cosmic inflation could not have ended everywhere at the same point in time. While here in the observable universe, detectable from Earth, we have a still-expanding universe in existence for 13.7 million years now, the same can not be said everywhere else. This is the theory of eternal inflation: cosmic inflation stops at different areas, with each termination giving birth to a so-called bubble universe.
This means that cosmic inflation could have given rise to the Big Bang, and not the other way around, given that ours could have been one of the endless bubble universes created when the inflation stopped around where we are now.
Finding Concrete Evidence and Solving the Debate Once and for All
In April 2020, a piece of news surfaced that sent the Internet abuzz: a NASA experiment on Antarctica has detected particles that supposedly break the laws of physics. This physical anomaly suggested that there is a "parallel universe going back in time."
However, this has been disproved by none other than Peter Gorham, the principal investigator on the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA), the science experiment on the desolate continent.
Gorham calls the publicity as "some unfortunate tabloid journalism" and notes that one of the tabloids "just made things up" about him and their work, as reported by CNET.
Additionally, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific wrote in the Autumn 2020 issue of the Mercury magazine that the ANITA discovery was not consistent with the official announcement of the project investigators.
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