Over the past months, the scientific community has been actively discussing the news that NASA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration has finally been able to discover a parallel universe where time goes back. This news excited users of social networks, which were divided into two camps. Some unconditionally believe NASA, while others reject the very idea of a parallel universe, believing that scientists take what is wanted for reality.
It should be noted that the rumors about the discovery of a parallel universe were greatly exaggerated because they were based on the latest results from the NASA pulsed transition antenna (ANITA), which uses the entire surface of Antarctica as a laboratory! The research process is as follows: high-energy cosmic particles – neutrinos – interact with the ice cover of the continent, causing the amplitude spectrum of a sequence of radio pulses that can be picked up by antennas. By the way, antennas are placed on huge balloons capable of rising to a height of 37 kilometers above the surface of the icy continent.
A neutrino is a subatomic particle. It is so small that we don’t notice how a trillion neutrino particles pass through our fingers every second. We do not see this flow, because neutrinos have practically no effect on ordinary matter. On average, only one neutrino interacts with our body in our entire life. Neutrinos are particles without a charge that have practically no mass, so their capture is more like the capture of ghosts. Thus, scientists have always had to use cunning tricks, in particular ANITA antennas, to capture these high-energy cosmic particles.
In 2018, the ANITA Antarctic Pulse Transition Antenna began to receive abnormal radio signals, which caused a stir in the scientific community. It is likely that this was due to particles that passed first through the surface of the southern continent and then to ANITA. The above radio signals were not reflected from the ice cover of Antarctica, which opened the door for all kinds of hypotheses and discussions. According to one version, this is due to the nature of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, some researchers have stated that this may be evidence of something else that lies beyond our imagination.
So the basic hypothesis put forward by the researchers appeared, according to which, our Universe is possibly just a “mirror reflection” of another parallel world. According to supporters of this hypothesis, both Universes have one reference point, that is, they arose as a result of the Big Bang.
To understand everything, let’s first look at the modern cosmological model “Lambda-CDM”, according to which our Universe appeared after the Big Bang. We know that our Universe is expanding rapidly, therefore, if we imagine that the Universe is the film that is being shown now, then if we want to rewind it, the viewer will return 13.8 billion years ago and see the starting point from which history began our universe.
Unfortunately, we know little about this point. Moreover, we cannot find out anything about what happened during the Big Bang or during the first 400 years of the existence of the Universe. Scientists suggest that the Universe was so dark that it did not transmit any light, and then the first cosmic atoms formed and the first photons of light appeared. They drew such conclusions based on fairly convincing evidence.
Researchers supporting the modern cosmological model are wondering: “Why don’t we rewind the film back to the Big Bang?” Of course, this is not just an idea that suddenly appeared in the minds of physicists, since they have long been accustomed to using mathematical equations to solve all the problems they face.
One of these problems is that the cosmological model “Lambda-CDM” in some cases violates the fundamental physical law “charge, parity, and time” (CPT – Symmetry). To understand the basic principle, you need to look at a smooth ball. When we look at it from any point, that is, to the right, left, top, or bottom, its shape remains unchanged. As for, for example, a cube, we cannot simultaneously see all its faces, since the projections overlap each other.
It should be noted here that the cube “violates rotational symmetry”, and the ball is rotationally symmetric. In the physics of elementary particles, there are also several types of symmetry, but, of course, they are very different from each other. So, for example, the ball can only come nearer. Most physicists believe that the principle of “charge, parity, and time” should not be violated. Nevertheless, a new hypothesis states that in order to maintain symmetry, we must imagine that in front of our Universe, there is another parallel world.
This hypothesis does not reject the Big Bang theory, but rather proves it because scientists take it as the starting point for the emergence of the Universe. In other words, after the Big Bang, a parallel Universe appeared, where the space-time continuum is similar to ours, but with the only difference – everything happens the other way around.
For example, time in a parallel universe does not move like ours but reverses. In addition, there everything looks upside down, as if we were looking in the mirror. But note that everything looks similar only in our perception. If there are inhabitants in the parallel Universe, then for them everything looks normal, not upside down. However, if they look at our Universe, they will see it as if they were looking in the mirror. In other words, both Universes will meet at the time of the Big Bang, and each of them will decide that everything happened in the distant past!
Here a logical question arises: what is the connection between the ANITA experiment and the parallel Universe? The answer is as follows: a new cosmological model of a parallel universe assumes the emergence of a new type of neutrino particle that was not previously known to elementary particle physics. It is likely that these particles were discovered by scientists during the ANITA experiment.
It should be noted that the problem is not that the ANITA experiment results are related to the parallel Universe, but rather that they confirm the existence of this parallel Universe. However, at best, this is just an assumption, despite the fact that we discovered neutrino particles. It is likely that our find may relate to other things.
The hypothesis of the existence of a parallel universe has been around for quite some time. A few years ago, a research group from Oxford University put forward a similar hypothesis in a study published in the journal Physics Letters B. The aforementioned study says that the Big Bang was not the beginning of time: at that moment, the orientation of the space simply changed.
The new hypothesis does not reject the Big Bang theory, but rather interprets some established postulates in a different way. Scientists from Oxford University do not introduce any new concepts, do not change Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which explains the evolution of the Universe, but simply work on a solution to a problem called the Horizon Problem.
Everyone knows that in the distant past, the expansion rate of the Universe was greater than the speed of light. This means that there are elementary particles that appeared immediately after the Big Bang but did not have the opportunity to meet each other. To better understand, imagine that you have a cup of hot water and a cup of cold water, but you immediately put them away from each other. Coldwater will remain in one cup and hot in the other. But if we leave them for a while or chat, then in each cup the water will be at about the same temperature.
This is where the “Horizon Problem” arises. Particles that quickly separated from each other at the time of the birth of the Universe should differ in their characteristics, but their influence does not appear in our Universe, because it is homogeneous. This raises the main question: why do different regions of the universe that have never been in contact with each other have identical properties?
To date, there are two possible answers. The first says that there was a certain event in the first moments of the life of the Universe, which caused this inexplicable interaction. Perhaps the space itself was different from what we know today, and the speed of light was probably much greater. As for the second option, it says that, apparently, the Big Bang was not at all the beginning of time. Somehow, the particles managed to mix with each other before the Big Bang.
All of the above hypotheses did not arise from scratch. They are designed to solve the problems faced by modern cosmological models. Take, for example, a research paper that provoked extensive discussions in the scientific community in 2017 due to the fact that it spoke about the possibility of a collision of our Universe with a parallel one at an early stage of evolution. This hypothesis was based on the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, which modern models cannot explain. Moreover, it echoes the theory of “Bubble Universes” that arose after the advent of the theory of Chaotic Inflation (Eternal Inflation).
Unfortunately, all hypotheses about a parallel Universe are faced with a fundamental problem – it is impossible to prove its existence empirically. To the question “Are there parallel universes?” difficult to answer in the current state of the science. It is likely that we will never be able to answer this question, but who knows? Maybe we can do it someday. Thus, all that remains for us now is to continue to work on the creation of more accurate mechanisms and more acceptable models in order to prove all hypotheses once.
Until such a moment has arrived, we cannot consider these hypotheses as an established fact. We are still in the land of imagination, but our dreams are something to think about. Perhaps one day we will answer our most exciting questions.