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Multiverse Controversy Heats Up over Gravitational Waves

RATE THIS! +39
Posted in Science on 1st Apr, 2014 01:32 AM by AlexMuller

The multiverse is one of the most divisive topics in physics, and it just became more so. The announcement of evidence for ripples in spacetime has bolstered a cosmological theory called inflation, and with it, some say, the idea that our universe is one of many universes floating like bubbles in a glass of champagne.

 

Critics of the multiverse hypothesis claim that the idea is untestable, barely even science. But with evidence for inflation theory building up, the multiverse debate is coming to a head.

 
The big news last week came from the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2 (BICEP2) experiment at the South Pole, which saw imprints in the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe, dating from shortly after the big bang, that appear to have been caused by gravitational waves rippling through the fabric of spacetime in the early universe.
 
The finding was heralded as a huge breakthrough, although physicists say confirmation from other experiments will be needed to corroborate the results.
 
If verified, these gravitational waves would be direct evidence for the theory of inflation, which suggests the universe expanded exponentially in the first fraction of a nanosecond after it was born.
 
If inflation occurred, it would explain many features of our universe, such as the fact that it appears to be fairly smooth, with matter spread evenly in all directions (early inflation would have stretched out any irregularities in the universe).
 
Inflation might also mean that what we consider the universe, the expanse of everything we could see with the most perfect telescopes, is just one small corner of space, a pocket where inflation stopped and allowed matter to condense, galaxies and stars to form, and life to evolve.
 
Elsewhere, beyond the observable universe, spacetime may still be inflating, with other “bubble” universes forming whenever inflation stops in one location.

Tags: spaceuniversemultiversegravityscienceBICEP2

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-01
+3
Theory of inflation just recently had a phenomenal experimental support and this is clearly a major breakthrough. We expect the debate and speculations about any other implications - good that there is a a debate about other universes
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-01
+1
Well, the problem is that the recent measurements in question do not provide evidence, or at least not sufficient evidence, for the theory of the multiverse Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-01
+3
I agree, and note that " Science is about verifiable and deniable statements. Yes. It is not about the big philosophical questions. Where we came from, what is reality? These cannot be answered experimentally."
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-01
+0
Yes, assuming the observations are correct, it's a huge result. It represents our most direct detection yet of gravitational waves- this alone might be Nobel Prize-winning. But beyond that, this is a huge step for the study of the origin of the Universe Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-01
+3
Mathematics will have the final word. Simply, this is how it works in physical sciences. What yesterday seemed metaphysics, became physics of tomorrow. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-05-06
+0
Hey, I got here thru Erin’s blog. I really relate to what you’re saying here, as a fellow hohceemoolsr. I don’t talk about it much on my blog, b/c I don’t want it to be the central focus, and frankly, I’ve got bigger things on my heart at present. I like this new word: moodling. It sounds like we have a very similar mentality when it comes to the schooling aspect. I’m also in a similar place as Erin (and maybe you??) in that we’ve left “church life” and I’m on a pilgrimage to know Papa deeper. It’s frustrating, but oh so freeing too. Reply


 

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