For some of us, the idea of unified Universities creates our wildest dreams. If there are other Universities where certain events have different outcomes – where an important decision has gone otherwise – perhaps there may be some way to access them. Perhaps particles, fields, or even human beings can be carried from one to the other, enabling us to live in a Universe better, in some way, than ourselves. These ideas have a spin on theoretical physics as well, from the myriad of possible outcomes from quantum mechanics as well as the ideas of the multiverse. But do they have anything to do with observable, measurable truth? Recently, a claim was answered asserting that we had found evidence for parallel Universities, and Jordan Colby Cox wanted to know what that meant, asking:
There’s an article floating around that says physicists in Antarctica have found evidence for a parallel universe. I’m not entirely sure, but I want to be sure by asking you to meet the truth of the story.
Let’s see and find out.
From a physics point of view, parallel Universities is one of those intriguing ideas that is conceptual, disturbing, but very difficult to test. They first arise in the context of quantum physics, notorious for having unpredictable outcomes even when you know everything possible about how you set up your system. If you take a single electron and shoot it with a double slit, you will only know the probabilities of where it is coming from; you cannot predict exactly where it will appear.
An amazing idea – known as the interpretation of many worlds of mechanics as a whole – posted that all possible outcomes are actually happening, but only one result can happen in each Universe. It takes an infinite number of parallel Universities to account for all the possibilities, but this interpretation is just as valid as any other. There are no experiments or observations that regulate it.
The second place where allied Universities emerged in physics came from the idea of the multiverse. Our noteworthy Universe began 13.8 billion years ago with the hot Big Bang, but the Big Bang itself is not the beginning. There is another strange phase of the Universe that has occurred previously to set up and give rise to the Big Bang: cosmological inflation. When and where inflation ends, a Big Bang occurs.
But inflation doesn’t end anywhere at once, and the areas where inflation ends continue to shrink, adding more space and more Big Bangs potential. Once inflation begins, in fact, it is almost impossible to prevent inflation from occurring anywhere. As time goes on, more Big Bangs – all disconnected from one another – take place, giving rise to a huge number of independent Universities: a universe.
The big problem for both of these ideas is that there is no way to test or prevent the prediction of allied University. After all, if we are stuck in our own Universe, how can we expect to access another one? We have our own laws of physics, but they come with a whole host of quantities that are always taken care of.
The particles do not appear, disappear, or change; they can only mix with other quanta of matter and energy, and the results of these interactions are similarly governed by the laws of physics.
Of all the experiments we have done, all the observations we have recorded, and all the measurements made, we have never discovered a contact that demands the existence of something beyond ourselves, isolated Universe to explain.
Unless, of course, you read the headlines that came out this week, reporting that scientists in Antarctica have discovered evidence for the existence of similar Universities. If this is true, it is completely revolutionary. This is a wonderful claim that will show us that the Universe we are currently thinking of is not enough, and there is much more there to know and discover than we thought possible.
Not only will these other Universities be available there, but matter and energy from them will have the ability to cross and interact with matter and energy in our own Universe. Perhaps, if this claim is correct, some of our wild science fiction dreams are possible. Perhaps you can travel to a Universe:
- Where did you choose to work overseas instead of the one that kept you in your country?
- Where do you stand in oppression instead of allowing yourself to take advantage?
- Where did you kiss the one-who-got-away at the end of the night, instead of releasing them?
- Or which life-or-death event you or your loved one faced at some point in the past has a different outcome?
So what is the wonderful evidence that shows the existence of a coherent Universe? What observation or measurement has been made that has brought us to this wonderful and unexpected end?
The ANITA (ANtarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna) experiment – a balloon-borne experiment sensitive to radio waves – detects radio waves of a specific set of energies and directions originating under Antarctic ice. This is good; this is what the experiment was designed to do! In both theory and practice, we have all kinds of cosmic particles that travel through space, including neutrino ghosts. While many of the neutrals we pass are from the Sun, the stars, or the Big Bang, some of them come from powerful astrophysical sources such as pulsars, black holes, or even mysterious, unknown objects. .
Neutrinos also come in a variety of energies, with the most enthusiastic (not surprisingly) being the most popular and, to many physicists, the most interesting. Neutrinos are usually invisible to normal objects – it takes about a light-year amount of lead to have 50/50 shots of one stop – so they can be realistic from any direction.
However, most of the high-energy neutrinos we see are not produced remotely, but are produced when other cosmic particles (also super-high energy) excite the upper atmosphere, producing cascades of particles that also result in neutrinos. Some of the neutrinos pass through the Earth almost completely, interacting only with the final layers of the Earth’s crust (or ice), where they can produce a signal that is sensitive to our detectors.
The rare events that ANITA sees are consistent with a neutrino coming to Earth and making radio waves, but at energies that must be so high that the passage of the Earth that is not displayed cannot occur.
How many events like this have they seen? Three.
Do they have to go through Earth? No. The first two may be normal air-shower tau neutrinos (one of the three types of neutrino allowed), while the third is probably only part of the experimental background.
In fact, there is an extraordinary piece of evidence that does not favor them passing through the Earth: the IceCube neutrino detector exists, and if high-energy neutrals regularly pass through Earth (and the Antarctic ice), the IceCube certainly saw a signal. . And, utterly unwise, they do not.
Scientifically, this means:
- ANITA saw radio signals that it could not explain,
- their leading hypothesis is that high-energy tau neutrinos travel upward to Earth,
- and the hypothesis was rejected by IceCube’s observations,
- teaching us there is no source of astrophysical point out there that creates particles that are not visible to ANITA.
So where, in all of these, do similar Universities come in?
Because there are only three explanations for ANITA’s findings: either there is an astrophysical source for these particles, there is a defect in their detector or their interpretation of the detector data, or something very strange, attention, and beyond the Standard Model (known as The CPT violation) occurs. Some excellent science has ruled out the first option (back in January), which means it is almost certainly the second choice. The third? Well, if our Universe could not violate the CPT, it would probably come from a parallel Universe where the CPT is reversed: an explanation that is unlikely to be poorly considered.
Remember: in science, we must always lead all conventional explanations that are not new to physics before we can make a play. Over the past decade, many amazing claims have been made that have been lost to further investigation. Neutrinos do not travel faster-than-light; we did not find dark matter or sterile neutrinos; cold fusion is not true; the impossibility of “no mechanical reaction” is a failure.
There is an amazing story here that is all about good science. An experiment (ANITA) saw something unexpected, and their results were published. A better experiment (IceCube) followed this, and ruled out their top interpretation. It strongly suggested that something was not right in the first experiment, and that more science could help us uncover what was really going on. Today, based on the scientific evidence we have, in parallel Universities need to remain a science fiction dream.
Send your Ask Ethan questions to Startwithabang at gmail dot com!