Just when the search for exoplanets looked like the undisputed fashionable field of study for 2010, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) is stepping to the forefront of astronomy and cosmology. Last month, it was Oxford's Roger Penrose claiming that he'd found evidence of a cyclical universe in patterns of concentric circles in the CMB, suggesting our universe is just one of many that have come before it (and will come after it). Now, another group of researchers are claiming the CMB contains evidence of other universes that exist concurrently (and outside of) our own.
The new evidence, put forth by a group of researchers at University College London, is based upon the model of "eternal inflation," which is predicated on the idea that our universe is part of a larger and ever-expanding multiverse. Our universe is contained in a kind of cosmic bubble that exists alongside other universes contained in their own bubbles, and in these universes the rules of physics could be far different than in our own.
If the eternal inflation theory is correct, it follows that our universe and other universes have likely collided in the past as they violently bounced around the larger multiverse, and those collisions should be evident in the CMB (the cosmic microwave background is a leftover from the Big Bang, and thus is of interest to astronomers and cosmologists for the long historical record it contains – if researchers know what to look for).
The University College team went looking for "cosmic bruises" in the CMB that indicate places where other universes collided with our own at some point, and it claims to have found them in data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
(WMAP), which has been measuring temperature differences in the CMB over the past decade. If indeed the spots are found to be "cosmic bruises," it would lend a lot of credence to the idea that there are other universes out there that at some point collided with our own.
But that's a big "if." If the earlier CMB findings by Penrose are any indicator, proving or disproving these sorts of claims rooted in WMAP data is extremely difficult. Fortunately, as Tech Review points out, the ongoing Planck mission should soon provide a much better picture of the CMB to astronomers, allowing them to hopefully prove or disprove some of these cosmological theories. Until then, the time is ripe to attribute statistical anomalies in the vast CMB data set to complex cosmological theories.
For the cosmically curious, check out the University College, et al. paper here (PDF). And feel free to assert your own theory of universal origins in the comments below.
Truly awe-inspiring. It's intuitive that our "big bang universe" is just a small explosion within a much larger, or infinite universe without an end, without a center or beginning. It's less logical to assume that "the end of everything" just happens to be at the limit of what our radio telescopes can see.
I would speculate that the ripples are either a) a result of our "universe" engulfing something smaller as it expanded; b) an irregularity of our own explosion, or c) a collision with a large external universe.
I think this is too simple to be real. Furthermore I have an uneducated opinion about the big bang and our universe. If anyone can provide an educated opinion I'd be much obliged. I tend to think of our universe as the exhaust remenants of a super-massive (or maybe even smaller) blackhole, in which a new universe was created completely detatched from it's parent universe. These cosmic bruises in the CMB, I feel would more likely be remnants of galaxies ripping though the infinitely dense passage into our own universe... or they may just be random too.
Either way I'm not trying to preach facts. I am however interested if someone would or could clarify this further for me.
An interesting theory with plenty of work behind it (unlike our comments :), but developed in an environment (our universe) where too many of the variables are unknown. That usually means that 99% of these theories will evaporate as more data comes in. Still, it is fun to contemplate such things. I'm not sure how much value there is in the work but sometimes you can't tell that either until afterwords.
I think its echos from the end of the universe collapsing :P
Epic! Maybe, if these cosmic "bruises" exist, we could analyze them. Get more information about the universe that made the bruise.
I love how infinite can just go in both directions of farther out and further within to sub sub atomic. The whole idea of these being infinite is wild. That nothing can end but seemingly our time here.
I would rather follow the rabbit trail that thought is the creating energy and this universe somewhere in the synaptical clef a seritonin reuptake giant mind but it just keeps going from one mind to a bigger one to the next and they all meet back here until someone thinks something brilliant and ends it all...no worries there.
E=MC^2 looks pretty simple but it took quite a while for humanity to come up with it.
Concentric circles indeed. It looks like ripples from touching the surface of a pool of water. That's just awesome! I'm with vivioo7 on this. *favorite*
I am cofused, but isnt everybody?
Another hypothosis for the so called bruises could be that they are actually the connection point between two universes as purposed by M or Membrane theory.
As predicted by the ancient hindu's there is no end to this,
Even in the smaller scale(atoms,electrons,quarks etc) and on larger scale(galaxies,other universes)...
the concept of zero and infinite were defined based on this,zero being nothingness and nirvana and infinite being everything and maya...
it was said that u would achieve nothing if u seek infinite,the problems will never end and it is so now...
And if u seek zero u will achieve enlightenment....
NOTE:This is not a religious preaching analog will be debate of YOGA..
why, mr. Anderson, why, why do you persist?
Because I Choose To...
There are an infinite number of universes as SPACE itself is infinitely large and infinitely small. There is no end to either extreme. So much for mankind being the center of the universe! The concept of god is ridiculous!
It amazes me how quickly we forget about the time factor in all of this. Everything takes time to get from point a to point b, the farther away we look, the farther back we are looking, the CMB isn't this magically wall around our universe, it's the convergence of time/space. Time as a linear notion is a totally human idea, time is relevant. Light, the once thought to be constant measure of distance, isn't constant at all, it's temperature sensetive, which is why cooling beams of light down to almost absolute zero slows them down. So light years as a distance is like trying to measure with a rubber band, it's flexable. There is a great chapter on Hawkin's "Brief History of Time" which shows how the farther out you look the farther back in time you look, up to a point that them collapses on itself. Looking for bruises on a bubble that isn't there is absurd. Do I believe that there are other "universes" sure, are they just outside of our universe in their own bubble, like marbles in a jar? I guess that depends on what you mean by bubble... if you want to think of it like the "personal space" bubble where there really isn't one, it's just an understood barrier, then sure, but it's not a real bubble! Well we ever really know? Hopefully, but not in my lifetime. Maybe we should take the Brane theroy and instead of the Branes being sheets, they are bubbles, and our time skirts around the edge of these bubbles until it runs into self at the other side, thus causing a pardox (the same partical can not exist in the same space at the same moment in time) thus causing a "space time pop" sending everyting reeling back into itself to be repeated again...
Or maybe our whole universe is nothing more than a quark in a larger universe. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? The world may never know.
So, the paramecium in the dish realizies that his petre dish has bumped into another. Therefore, there can be no scientist, because there is a petre dish beyond this one and everyone knows that a scientist would never create more than one petre dish.
There is great irony in a human declairing with humility that mankind is not the center of the universe and at the same time claiming that mankind is important (and knowledgable) enough to prove a negative in that universe (that there is no god).
There are three kinds of people in the world -
The religious, who believe in divinity through faith, and who are therefore rational when they have seperated what they believe by faith from what they know through impericism.
The agnostic, who has not chosen a belief in or against divinity, but is rationally withholding opinion until a crisis of faith causes them to choose or imperical evidence of the divine is found.
The atheist, who simultatiously holds up rationality yet is completely irrational. Who can make the true statement that there is no imperical proof of god, and derive from that the opinion that there can be no god. It is based solely in the hubris that man knows all and that if there was a god we would be able to prove it.
Therefore, if a scientist is anything other than a theist or agnostic, ignore them. They have lost their grip on the rational.
I believe in 6.022 * 10^23 gods. So I am the most rational of all.
Maybe "Cosmic Bruises" can benefit from "Universal Healthcare"?
Perhaps these "bruises" are actually visual indicators of stress as our rapidly expanding bubble is about to burst. Pop goes the world!
are you talking about "God" again. Very witty, btw.
I think you are on the right track (very rational). I might be tempted to put a minus sign before the 23 but your answer is just as good.
While I love the idea of other Universes existing, doesn't it seem like this is just jumping to conclusions?
Want to jump to conclusions? There's a mat for that!
Maybe it's residual "bruises" of the energy that expanded the universe.
to VIINCI about einsteins relativity work "...[a] magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king ... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists ..." Nikola Tesla from wikipedia
The energy equation is indisputable. The simple "black box" thought experiment that Einstein created is truly elegant ... a single photon entering one side through a pinhole and stiking the other side from within (all energies contained within the box).
I'm not disputing your statement (or Tesla's) by the way. You addressed your comment to viinci suggesting that the energy equation was false. It is not. Unlike the endless mind-boggling theories, this equation is well tested scientifically.
Equal and opposite forces. The latest theory discussing multiple big bangs sounds right to me. The rings are gravitational waves from the previous big bangs colliding with black holes from a previous universe.