2020 has been a year full of mysteries. Starting from the radio burst in the Milky Way, to a video showing UFO sightings, people are still contemplating these startling events. To add to this confusion, a tabloid science story claimed to have found the evidence for Parallel Universe. As soon as this claim surfaced the internet, people couldn’t control themselves but to spread the word. Unbeknownst to them, when the said “evidence” were carefully studied by the physicists, things began to change. Have we found the missing piece of Quantum Physics? Or was the pieces of evidence a mere miscalculation? Find out more, if this is a fact or fiction! Before we get deep into the physics of the parallel universe, it is important to know what a parallel universe is.
The origins of the Parallel universe can be traced back to Plato. He firmly believed in the parallel realities. Moreover, there is a movement called “Platonism” that reflects on his ideas and beliefs. In addition to that, Hindu Mythology pertains to the concept of multiple universes. According to legends, there is an infinite number of universes, each ruled by a God. However, in the context of Physics, a parallel universe is considered to be a hypothetical concept. In Quantum mechanics, a parallel universe is theorised as an undetectable universe which exists alongside our own universe.
The science behind the Parallel universe
To say they exist is a bit of a stretch. However, the theory behind them is believable. To put it into perspective, if the space-time is idealised to be flat, there would be an infinite number of cosmic patches. Meanwhile, the total number of particle configurations in space-time is limited to 10^10^122. Hence these particle configurations must repeat. It repeats infinitely many times to fit into these patches. This bizarre concept calls for a parallel universe. A universe having a cosmic patch similar to ours. What does it mean? Well, there’s a possibility that someone like us exists in a different universe.
With the emergence of String theory, scientists have come up with numerous proofs behind its existence. Moreover, in his last paper, Stephen Hawking expressed his thoughts on the parallel universe. “We are not down to a single, unique universe, but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse to a much smaller range of possible universes.”, Hawking said in an interview, a few months before his demise.
Anomalous detections found in Antarctica
Despite solid claims made by physicists, we haven’t found any physical evidence of a Parallel universe. However, anomalous detections found on an experiment that took place in Antarctica might solve this puzzle. Last month, an article related this detection to parallel universe. Although the article was far-fetched, it cited three scientific papers as references. The papers found an “upward-pointing cosmic ray-like-events”. Something that couldn’t be explained on the basis of the standard model. In a follow-up study, scientists believed this anomaly was related to something called the “CPT symmetric universe”. The third one urging the need for reconsideration. All of these studies use the data from ANITA.
ANITA: ANtarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna
ANITA is NASA’s experiment that involves the study of high-energy particles. For this, they used an array of radio antennas attached to a helium balloon. This helium balloon flies over the Antarctic ice sheet at about 37,000 meters. This stratospheric balloon is quintessential to study these high-energy particles or neutrinos. Because at this height, only such particles are observed since all other noises are shut out.
Claims made in support of Parallel Universe from this experiment
In 2016, ANITA picked up a signal of high-energy neutrinos coming up from the Earth’s surface. The confusing part was that these neutrinos had no explainable source. Moreover, neutrinos are supposed to come from the depths of the cosmos, not Earth. This means that this event is exotic and beyond our standard model. Later on, it was a CPT violation. However, our universe can’t violate CPT. Hence they believed this to come from a parallel universe where CPT is reversed.
“Explaining this signal requires the existence of a topsy-turvy universe created in the same big bang as our own and existing in parallel with it. In this mirror world, positive is negative, left is right and time runs backwards”, the tabloid science story reported. This hinted a CPT symmetric universe
CPT symmetric universe and reversal of time
CPT is Charge, Parity, and Time reversal symmetry. The underlying principle of CPT symmetry is that any physical process remains the same if time is reversed. In addition to that, the space is inverted, and there is an abundance of antimatter as opposed to matter. Moreover, this time is expected to run back from the Big Bang. This is where the Parallel universe comes into the picture. “In this scenario the universe before the Big Bang and the universe after the Big Bang is reinterpreted as a universe/anti-universe pair that is created from nothing”, the research paper reads. If CPT combination is to hold true, there would be many consequences. All of which pertains to the concept of “anti-universe”. Also, CPT symmetry must not be violated.
Is this a proof for the Parallel Universe?
Although the scientists ascertained the signals being exotic to the standard model, there are two other possibilities for this event. One of them being certain astronomical evidence for this signal that their device couldn’t detect. Meaning, there is a flaw in their detector. Or this could be a misinterpretation of their detector data. However, that doesn’t mean that this phenomenon is beyond the scope of the standard model. Many believe that the explanation for this might require a new physics phenomenon. To sum up, this is NOT a proof for the Parallel universe. But, a mysterious scientific phenomenon that demands the next generation of experiments.
If it is not a Parallel Universe, what could it be?
Scientists are sure that these signals can’t be standard neutrinos. Turns out, this has something to do with Ice. Yes, it went from parallel universe to ice. The detected energy waves are believed to originate from beneath the Antarctic ice. In fact, they believe that it is this imperfect understanding of Antarctic ice made tabloids to call it evidence for the parallel universe! Moreover, the answer to this anomaly demands a new set of experiments. So that they could get enough exposure and sensitivity before jumping to a conclusion. A new physical phenomenon is responsible for this anomaly.
Needless to say, the internet doesn’t wait for solid proof. People share just about anything that has something to do with such controversial topics. Evidence for a parallel universe is groundbreaking. However, it seems as if we have to wait until scientists decode this phenomenon. Until then, fortunately,/unfortunately, the concept of the parallel universe remains a fiction.