First we’ll map the multiverse, then we’ll find out if it really exists

Thursday, 12 September, 2013

A map, of sorts, of the multiverse. While it is yet to be ascertained whether or not our universe is part of a cluster of similar bodies, there’s surely no harm charting out such a space.

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Time ends when the Sun stops shining, at least in this universe

Thursday, 4 November, 2010

Today’s mind-boggling physics read… time will come to an end in about five million years, which is approximately the same time many scientists expect the Sun will cease to be, a theory however that only holds up should we be residing in a multiverse, a possibly infinite collection of individual universes, rather than a single such entity.

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The intriguing thought our universe resides inside a black hole

Thursday, 29 July, 2010

A somewhat mind-bending thought, our universe may be residing within a black hole, an idea that may have some credence, especially if the behaviour of certain neutrinos is anything to go by.

How would we know if we are living inside a black hole? Well, a spinning black hole would have imparted some spin to the space-time inside it, and this should show up as a “preferred direction” in our universe, says Poplawski. Such a preferred direction would result in the violation of a property of space-time called Lorentz symmetry, which links space and time. It has been suggested that such a violation could be responsible for the observed oscillations of neutrinos from one type to another.

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Are black holes links to other universes? Is this the multiverse?

Thursday, 15 April, 2010

A new theory states that black holes, rather than being conduits to other parts of the galaxy or universe (assuming we could stay in one piece if travelling through them), may instead be portals to entirely different universes.

According to a mind-bending new theory, a black hole is actually a tunnel between universes – a type of wormhole. The matter the black hole attracts doesn’t collapse into a single point, as has been predicted, but rather gushes out a “white hole” at the other end of the black one, the theory goes.

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The egg came before the chicken, at least in this universe it did

Tuesday, 2 March, 2010

A fascinating article about time, what (may have) happened before the big bang, the universe, and multiverses. It is also the belief of theoretical physicist Sean Carroll that the only way to move through time is ahead, not back, sadly putting paid to the likes of the “Back to the Future” movie story lines.

If you find an egg in your refrigerator, you’re not surprised. You don’t say, “Wow, that’s a low-entropy configuration. That’s unusual,” because you know that the egg is not alone in the universe. It came out of a chicken, which is part of a farm, which is part of the biosphere, etc., etc. But with the universe, we don’t have that appeal to make. We can’t say that the universe is part of something else. But that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m fitting in with a line of thought in modern cosmology that says that the observable universe is not all there is. It’s part of a bigger multiverse. The Big Bang was not the beginning.

Whoa, this is heavy…

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The multiverse theory, a kind of theory of everything

Tuesday, 5 May, 2009

I think it’s been a while – a couple of weeks anyway – since I linked a cosmology piece, so I thought this New Scientist article about the concept of the multiverse would fit the bill.

Put (very) briefly, some scientists think we live in one of a number – possibly a great number – of universes. We happen to reside in a relatively stable universe where a number of factors also combine to make life possible.

Gone is the grudging acceptance or outright loathing of the multiverse. Instead, physicists are starting to look at ways of working with it, and maybe even trying to prove its existence. If such ventures succeed, our universe will go the way of Earth – from seeming to be the centre of everything to being exposed as just a backwater in a far vaster cosmos. And just as we are unable to deduce certain aspects of Earth from first principles – such as its radius or distance from the sun – we will have to accept that some things about our universe are a random accident, inexplicable except in the context of the multiverse.

The suggestion is there are many universes that are not only probably totally bizarre, but also completely inhospitable. As a certain Vulcan science officer would say… fascinating.

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Holiday reading material: cosmology

Friday, 19 December, 2008

Ten New Scientist articles taking in subjects ranging from time travel, the existence of the multiverse (a collection of universes), to problems with Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

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