Our Universe May Exist in a Multiverse, Cosmic Inflation Discovery Suggests

Written by on March 19, 2014 in Earth & Space, Sci-Tech, Science with 1 Comment

Miriam Kramer | Space | March 18th 2014

cosmic universe big bangThe first direct evidence of cosmic inflation — a period of rapid expansion that occurred a fraction of a second after the Big Bang — also supports the idea that our universe is just one of many out there, some researchers say.

On Monday (March 17), scientists announced new findings that mark the first-ever direct evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in space-time created just after the universe began. If the results are confirmed, they would provide smoking-gun evidence that space-time expanded at many times the speed of light just after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

“It’s hard to build models of inflation that don’t lead to a multiverse,” Alan Guth, an MIT theoretical physicist unaffiliated with the new study, said during a news conference Monday. “It’s not impossible, so I think there’s still certainly research that needs to be done. But most models of inflation do lead to a multiverse, and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously.”

Other researchers agreed on the link between inflation and the multiverse.

“In most of the models of inflation, if inflation is there,


The new research also lends credence to the idea of a multiverse. This theory posits that, when the universe grew exponentially in the first tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, some parts of space-time expanded more quickly than others. This could have created “bubbles” of space-time that then developed into other universes. The known universe has its own laws of physics, while other universes could have different laws, according to the multiverse concept. [Cosmic Inflation and Gravitational Waves: Complete Coverage]

Infographic: How Inflation expanded the early universe.
Inflation is the mysterious force that blew up the scale of the infant universe from sub-microscopic to gargantuan in a fraction of a second. See how cosmic inflation theory for the Big Bang and universe’s expansion works in this Space.com infographic.
Credit: By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

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