Although it sounds like a concept exclusive to science fiction, the idea of multiple universes has gained credibility in some scientific circles in recent years. The idea is often invoked as a possible explanation for the earth’s uniqueness—helping some escape the conclusion that the earth and our universe were supernaturally designed.
Now, scientists claim to have found “first evidence of other universes,” to borrow from the sensational headline used by MIT’s Technology Review to describe the research.1 A team at University College London has taken a closer look at the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, a faint glow of radiation at the edge of space interpreted as evidence of the big bang. The ScienceNOW report explains,
The algorithm [developed by the team] found data that was consistent with the type of features generated by a collision between universes. Although not a discovery as such, it is a hint that suggests that a more definitive result could be found with higher-resolution observations, such as those from the Planck satellite launched last year.
(To use a more specific yet less technical term, the team’s Stephen Feeney calls the observations “bruises” from when our universe collided with other universes.)
Scientists claim to have found “first evidence of other universes.”
Both the Technology Review and the ScienceNOW coverage warn of how easy it is to find discrepancies in the CMB data; the latter source refers to a team that claimed to discover the initials “S. H.” (for physicist Stephen Hawking) in the CMB. Nonetheless, Technology Review throws caution to the wind, proclaiming, “Again, this is an extraordinary result: the first evidence of universes beyond our own.” As for us, we’ll take the more cautious route and wait for more scientists to weigh in; the research has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
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