I. First evidence of other universes that exist alongside our own after scientists spot ‘cosmic bruises’ — 17 December, 2010;
II. Is our universe merely one of billions? Evidence of the existence of ‘multiverse’ revealed for the first time by cosmic map — 19 May, 2013;
I. Scientists say that they have found evidence that our universe was ‘jostled’ by other parallel universes in the distant past
The incredible claim emerged after they studied patterns in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) – the after-effects of the Big Bang. They say they may have found evidence that four circular patterns found in the CMB are ‘cosmic bruises’ where our universe has crashed into other universes at least four times.
The findings are based on the complex theory of eternal inflation for our universe. This theory holds that out universe if only one bubble in a larger cosmos and that other universes,which will have different physics to our own, all exist at the same time.
The findings, by Stephen Feeney from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London, are likely to be controversial. A number of cosmologists have already written in response to the paper that it is too easy to jump to conclusions about what can be seen in the CMB.
The team behind the paper accept that ‘it is rather easy to find all sorts of statistically unlikely properties in a large dataset like the CMB’. But they add: ‘If a bubble collision is verified by future data, then we will gain an insight not only into our own universe but a multiverse beyond.’
The paper, published online yesterday, comes just a month after a similar study of the background radiation claimed to have discovered evidence that the universe existed before the Big Bang. Most scientists believe the universe was created in the Big Bang around 13.7 billion years ago. Stars and galaxies started to form around 300 million years later. Our Sun was born around five billion years ago, while life first appeared on the Earth around 3.7 billion years ago.
The CMB dates back to 300,000 years after the Big Bang and has now cooled to around -270 degrees Celsius.
|A map of the cosmic background radiation (CMB) in the universe with circles which may signify events that took place before the Big Bang|
A paper posted online on the website arXiv.org by respected scientists Professor Roger Penrose from Oxford University and Professor Vahe Gurzadyan from Yerevan State University, Armenia, suggested the universe could be much older han previously thought. Penrose and Gurzadyan argue that evidence unearthed by Nasa’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotophy Probe in the CMB shows imprints in the radiation that are older than the Big Bang.
They say they have discovered 12 examples of concentric circles, some of which have five rings, meaning the same object has had five massive events in its history. The rings appear around galaxy clusters in which the variation in the background radiation appears to be strangely low. The research appears to cast aside the widely-held ‘inflationary’ theory of the origins of the universe, that it began with the Big Bang, and will continue to expand until a point in the future, when it will end.
They believe the circles are imprints of extremely violent gravitational radiation waves generated by supermassive black hole collisions in a previous aeon before the last big bang.
II. The first ‘hard evidence’ that other universes exist has been found by scientists
– Scientists studied radiation data gathered by Planck telescope;
– Claim anomalies show gravitational pull from other universes;
– Could be the first real evidence to support controversial theory;
Cosmologists studying a map of the universe from data gathered by the Planck spacecraft have concluded that it shows anomalies that can only have been caused by the gravitational pull of other universes.
The map shows radiation from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago that is still detectable in the universe – known as cosmic microwave radiation.
Scientists had predicted that it should be evenly distributed, but the map shows a stronger concentration in the south half of the sky and a ‘cold spot’ that cannot be explained by current understanding of physics.
Laura Mersini-Houghton, theoretical physicist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Richard Holman, professor at Carnegie Mellon University, predicted that anomalies in radiation existed and were caused by the pull from other universes in 2005.
Now that she has studied the Planck data, Dr Mersini-Houghton believes her hypothesis has been proven. Her findings imply there could be an infinite number of universes outside of our own.
She said: ‘These anomalies were caused by other universes pulling on our universe as it formed during the Big Bang. They are the first hard evidence for the existence of other universes that we have seen.’
|Detailed: Planck data has been used to create a map of light from when the universe was just 380,000 years old|
|Better quality: Previous maps of radiation (left) were not as detailed as the recent Planck map (right)|
Although some scientists remain skeptical about the theory of other universes, these findings may be a step towards changing views on physics. The European Space Agency, which runs the £515 million Planck telescope, said: ‘Because precision of Planck’s map is so high, it made it possible to reveal some peculiar unexplained features that may well require new physics to be understood.’
Cambridge professor of theoretical physics Malcolm Perry told the Sunday Times that the findings could be real evidence of the existence of other universes. While George Efstathiou, professor of astrophysics at the university, told the newspaper: ‘Such ideas may sound wacky now, just like the Big Bang theory did three generations ago. But then we got evidence and now it has changed the whole way we think about the universe.’