Scientists have theorized that gravitational waves point to the possibility of multipe universes. Gravitational waves have infused space with a special energy that exerts a repulsive force, causing the universe to expand faster than the speed of light for a prodigiously violent instant. The ballooning process smoothed out out he wrinkles and irregularities, solving the paradox of why the heavens look uniform from pole to pole.
The research, led by John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is among the most significant for years. So far, it seems to confirm the existence of gravitational waves, which are the 'ripples' in space time created in the very first moments after the big bang about 14 billion years ago. Most models of inflation we have today show that different parts of that hyper-dense early universe would have expanded at different speeds, creating "bubbles" of space time which would effectively be cut off from each other, resulting in many bubble universes, co-existing but unable in to interact.
Stanford University theoretical physicist Andrei Linde theorizes that initially the universe was rapidly inflating, being in an unstable energetic vacuum-like state. It became hot only later, when this vacuum-like state decayed. Quantum fluctuations produced during inflation are responsible for galaxy formation. In some places, these quantum fluctuations are so large that they can produce new rapidly expanding parts of the universe. This process makes the universe immortal and transforms it into a multiverse, a huge fractal consisting of many exponentially large parts with different laws of low-energy physics operating in each of them.
Professor Linde, one of the authors of inflationary theory and of the theory of an eternal inflationary multiverse told space.com: "It's possible to invent models of inflation that do not allow [a] multiverse, but it's difficult. Every experiment that brings better credence to inflationary theory brings us much closer to hints that the multiverse is real."
Alan Guth (see his Newton Lecture video below) is quoted in a press conference saying that "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."
The Daily Galaxy via CfA and Stanford University
Image Credit: Copyright: Science Photo Library