Sunday, June 02, 2013
The first evidence of other universes
Astronomers Find First Evidence Of Other Universes | MIT Technology Review:
'via Blog this'
Back in 2010 an analysis of the Big Bang's microwave afterglow suggested that our universe had collided with others during its birth. There are impressions visible in the current snapshot of the microwave background that look like the after effects of such impacts. That and other structures we'd expect to see if our cosmos was cyclical - if multiple big bangs had played out within it over vast spans of time.
This is all very exciting because there's never been any evidence of other universes. The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics and every multiverse model out there are all purely theoretical constructions. Accounting tricks that invoke the possible existence of other cosmi and world lines to explain oddities in the most esoteric branches of physics, and without a drop of empirical data back back them up.
Until now. Maybe.
That maybe comes from two sources. One is that the visual data set these collision artifacts appear in is of fairly low resolution. So what look like telltale structures may disappear in the future when seen with a greater focus and pixel density. Something like how the fuzzy face on Mars that appears in a 1970s photograph looks nothing like a face when seen through the current HD optics in orbit of the Red Planet. The other source of maybe-ness is that the explanation of these structures as collisions artifacts has not been embraced by the cosmological scientific community. Which isn't surprising given the low resolution of the data and the higher resolution information that's on the way.
Mapping the Universe, Take 2
At present there is a high-definition observation platform in space. The European Space Agency's Plank Observatory went online back in 2010 and recently released its updated map of the cosmic microwave background in March.
So now we're waiting on the analysis.
Hopefully the collision structures will draw into sharper focus in the new data and confirm their existence. A bumpy, foamy multiverse of universes jammed together cheek and jowl would be a vastly more interesting and inspiring place rather than a single cosmos. There are all kinds of philosophical and theological implications for different faiths in the former, as well as the potential for an entirely new period of physics. An almost infinitely interesting expansion beyond our current models. A multiverse filled with universes is also a lot less bleak than the current predictive models of our lone cosmos gradually boiling away into a light-less, high-entropy heat death, or being torn apart and transformed into a ratified vastness of rapidly expanding distances.
So here's hoping.