The Speculist: Possible Evidence for Parallel Universe


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Possible Evidence for Parallel Universe

Let's have no more of this nonsensical talk about banning astronomy:

Evidence for a parallel universe?

Last August, astronomers working on the analysis of data being acquired by NASA’s WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) satellite announced that they found a huge void in the universe. A void is a region of space that has much less material (stars, nebulae, dust and other material) than the average. Since our universe is relatively heterogeneous, empty spaces are not rare, but in this case the enormous magnitude of the hole is way outside the expected range. The hole found in the constellation of Eridanus is about a billion light years across, which is roughly 10,000 times as large as our galaxy or 400 times the distance to Andromeda, the closest “large” galaxy.

The dimension of the hole is so big that at first glance, it results impossible to explain under the current cosmological theories, although scientists put forward some explanations based on certain theoretical models that might predict the existence of “giant knots” in space known as topological defects.

However, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physics Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton made a staggering claim. She says, “Standard cosmology cannot explain such a giant cosmic hole” and goes further with the ground-breaking hypothesis that the huge void is “… the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own“.

I'm not astrophysicist, so I will take it as a given that there can be something remarkable about a large piece of open space out I mean, isn't that what we expect to find out there? But okay, granted.

Mersini-Houghton is a proponent of a theory of entangled universes. Her ideas about parallel universes are testable, so we should know in time whether this hole is just a big hole or evidence of something more. According to the theory, there should be a second void like this one in another section of the universe.

If such a void is, in fact, found, it still won't be proof positive that we have discovered a parallel universe, but it will certainly add credibility to the argument.


To me, there's something very odd about the idea of evidence of parallel universes in this universe. If we have some common context with another universe, isn't that context the real universe? How can two parallel things be connected to each other? Similarly, Max Tegmark talks about the great physical distance one would have to travel to get from this universe to another universe. (I can't find the exact reference; somebody help me out if you know what I'm looking for.)

Maybe I'm just playing word games, but it seems to me that if you can get there from here, then it's not a different universe.



I agree that if you can get there from here, that would mean that we're not talking about a different universe. But, that doesn't mean that we can't see evidence for another universe within this universe.

Maybe the other universe is pushing the space-time fabric of our universe.

Imagine a trampoline with marbles on it dispersed evenly. Now get under the trampoline and push up with a single finger. The marbles roll away from the pressure. Maybe that's what we're seeing with this void.

Just a guess. This is way beyond me.

Anyway, all this talk about parallel universes has me thinking again about your last post - that observing dark matter could have doomed the universe.

I realize now that the fact that space aliens should have already done this doesn't let us off the hook.

According the multiple universe theory ending the universe by observing dark energy could have happened many times before - in parrallel universes. According to this ending-the-universe theory, observing dark energy only creates a risk of the universe ending. It's not a certainty.

So, perhaps every time we observe dark energy we both doom the universe and get lucky. In one reality the universe ends. In another, a luckier version of the universe goes on.

Take comfort and be horified!

I don't understand how this is 'evidence' of a parallel universe. I think it could be part of a discussion of the Fermi paradox.

We use concentrations of heavy water(D20) extremely unlikely to occur naturally in a deep subterranean chamber. [1]

Suppose sufficiently advanced intergalactic ET are themselves trying to detect an exceptionally rare event that requires a rarified region of space - much like our hope of detecting a proton decay. Perhaps the anomaly exists specifically to observe an event that may or may not happen on human-timescales (rather than the void itself being the event).

The implications makes me feel like one of the monkeys approaching the monolith in 2001:A Space Odyssey


"...odd about the idea of evidence of parallel universes in this universe..."

No more odd than the existence of a parallel universe in general. Think about Flatland- where (metaphorically*) existence lacks one of our dimensions. We can interact and they can see that we're around (no pun intended) but they're not in our dimensions.

* I say metaphorically- because if the Flatlanders really did not exist in our 3rd dimension- they wouldn't exist in the 1st or 2nd either.

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