Do We Live in a Mirror Universe?

Written by on December 28, 2014 in Reality's Edge with 0 Comments

Tom Head | Mysterious universe

alienThe end of time in our universe might be the beginning of time in another universe, and vice versa. This is the hypothesis put forth by an international team of astrophysicists in the current issue of Physical Review Letters: that fundamental questions of time, structure, and entropy can be answered if we assume that our universe has a bizarro-universe twin where time runs backward, relative to us—each universe splitting off from the Big Bang in opposite temporal directions, serving not as the beginning of the time but rather as a halfway point between the two universes.

It’s a complicated explanation, but maybe not as complicated as the theory we’recurrently using. And the reason for that complexity is entropy.

As Scientific American’s Lee Billings explains:

The thermodynamic arrow of time suggests our observable universe began in an exceptionally special state of high order and low entropy, like a pristine cosmic egg materializing at the beginning of time to be broken and scrambled for all eternity … [Ludwig] Boltzmann, believing the universe to be eternal in accordance with Newton’s laws, thought that eternity could explain a low-entropy origin for time’s arrow. Given enough time—endless time, in fact—anything that can happen will happen, including the emergence of a large region of very low entropy as a statistical fluctuation from an ageless, high-entropy universe in a state of near-equilibrium …

Today’s cosmologists have a tougher task, because the universe as we now know it isn’t ageless and unmoving: They have to explain the emergence of time’s arrow within a dynamic, relativistic universe that apparently began some 14 billion years ago in the fiery conflagration of the big bang.

The team behind the mirror-universe theory—led by Oxford’s eccentric but brilliant Julian Barbour—has hypothesized that gravity could be the force that ultimately reorganizes the universe into a relatively pristine low-entropy state suitable for a Big Bang.

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