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United Kingdom Science

First Observational Test of the "Multiverse" 258

An anonymous reader writes "The theory that our universe is contained inside a bubble, and that multiple alternative universes exist inside their own bubbles – making up the 'multiverse' – is being tested observationally by UK physicists, who are searching for disk-like collision patterns in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. Though CMB is generally thought of as a uniform schmear of radiation extending in all directions in our universe, in fact, they say if a multiverse exists, there ought to be imprints trapped in the muck like footprints of where our universe banged into others."
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First Observational Test of the "Multiverse"

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  • Re:Collision? (Score:3, Informative)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2011 @06:33PM (#36978508) Journal

    "Can" and "Could" are two different things, especially when you're looking at the CMB. It emanates from the initial state of the universe, before the time when the laws of physics as we know them had formed. The other universes are not this universe because they degenerated to different laws. But before then, it was one big multiverse stew.

    Or some silly shit like that.

  • Re:This... (Score:5, Informative)

    by elsurexiste ( 1758620 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2011 @07:50PM (#36979454) Journal

    I was expecting this kind of comment. You fell into my trap! Muahahaha! :)

    Now, seriously, Karl Popper is a late guest in the show. There are two lines of thought, verificationism and falsationism (Popper and its following). The first one states that you must verify your hypothesis with experiments. Those experiments, though, are nothing more than steps in an endless stair of confirmation. Popper said that scientists should aim for the opposite, that is, you can't verify but you can falsify, and Science's objective (with capital "s") should be to keep trying to falsify hypothesis.

    It doesn't matter in the end with which epistemological view you adhere, as they are two sides of the same coin. If you are a verificationist, you keep doing experiments that will verify your hypothesis until you find one that doesn't. If you are a falsationist, you keep doing experiments that will falsify your hypotesis while you wait for the one that succeed in doing that. Either way, you keep on testing: that is the essence of the scientific knowledge.

  • Re:first (Score:4, Informative)

    by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2011 @08:07PM (#36979632) Journal
    Interesting question. There are several different kinds of possible multiverse (see Tegmark []). What this is looking for is type one, possibly type two. They're the most "boring" in some ways because the "other versions" of you exist simply because of statistical imperative and are also a very, very long way away. It's like proving two identical snowflakes have existed, but not knowing where or when. Still, I love the fact that people are trying to test ideas that were thought to be untestable at one point.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun