Does the Recent Discovery of Cosmic Inflation Bolster the Multiverse Hypothesis?

Apparently it does, and that considerably. This comes via Space.com:

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]

“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.”

Andrei Linde agrees:

Stanford University theoretical physicist Andrei Linde, who wasn’t involved in the new study, said at the same news conference, “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.”

When Guth and his colleagues thought up cosmic inflation more than 30 years ago, scientists thought it was untestable. Today, however, researchers are able to study light left over from the Big Bang called cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).

In the new study, a team led by John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics found telltale signs of inflation in the microwave background. The researchers discovered a distinct curl in the polarization pattern of the CMB, a sign of gravitational waves created by the rapid expansion of space-time just after the Big Bang.

Linde, one of the main contributers to inflation theory, says that if the known universe is just one bubble, there must be many other bubbles in the cosmic fabric.

“Think about some unstable state,” Linde explained. “You are standing on a hill, and you can fall in this direction, you can fall in that direction, and if you’re drunk, eventually you must fall. Inflation is instability of our space with respect to its expansion.

“You have something growing exponentially,” he added. “If you just let it go … it will continue exponentially growing, so this [the known universe] is one possibility of something going wrong with this instability, which is very, very right for us because it has created all of our space. Now, we know that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong once and a second time and a third time and into infinity as long as it can go.”

Here’s Andrei Linde when he first got the big news that evidence of cosmic inflation had been directly detected in the cosmic background radiation:

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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7 Responses to Does the Recent Discovery of Cosmic Inflation Bolster the Multiverse Hypothesis?

  1. The global warming hoax is also based on 100% computer models and 0% actual evidence.

    The multiverse is the science fiction story atheists tell themselves because recent discoveries in cosmology point directly to the existence of God.

  2. This is awesome news. You do know that SoM has an inverter on his speech such that you can negate nearly everything he says and it makes sense afterwards. Try it. I sometimes think that SoM is a troll robot.

  3. andrewclunn says:

    I don’t know that it means that the multiverse is true, but it does mean that the firmly established laws of our universe (as it currently exists) were violated within the history of our own universe. This means that there is at least another whole level of laws that we’re not seeing, which allows for things to travel faster than light.

    It could be that there are other universes, or it could mean that our laws of physics are transient and destined to change yet again at some point. The multiverse theory is perhaps the more comforting of the two conclusions (though they are not mutually exclusive).

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Einsteinian relativity allows for space itself to expand faster than the speed of light. What cannot break the light speed limit are two objects in relation to one another. That’s why physicists are not bothered by finding that cosmic inflation exceeds the speed of light.

      • andrewclunn says:

        But then light would only be able to travel at half the speed of light. Either that or two beams of light could never be moving in opposite directions.

      • Santi Tafarella says:

        Your observation lost me a bit. I think what you’re describing is only a paradox in a Newtonian, not Einsteinian, conception of space/time. My source for the “light speed limit not being a problem” for inflation (because it doesn’t apply to space itself) is physicist Brian Greene’s book, “The Hidden Reality.”

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