Even if renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is no longer alive, he left an amazing legacy to science. His last theory has been recently published in the Journal of High Energy Physics. His study offers a new view of the multiverse theory, introducing a new theory called “eternal inflation.”
Both Stephen Hawking and Professor Thomas Hertog have added to the literature a new point of view. After the Big Bang, the universe immediately expanded for a fraction of a second, and then it continued to slowly increase. But the scientists’ theory known as “eternal inflation” argues that some regions of the universe still have a rapid inflation. That means that the universe has a gigantic “background” and there are infinite small packed universes, ours also being included.
“I Have Never Been a Fan of the Multiverse”
Hawking previously said about his study:
“The usual theory of eternal inflation predicts that globally our universe is like an infinite fractal, with a mosaic of different pocket universes, separated by an inflating ocean. The local laws of physics and chemistry can differ from one pocket universe to another, which together would form a multiverse. But I have never been a fan of the multiverse. If the scale of different universes in the multiverse is large or infinite the theory can’t be tested.”
But with testing their theory in mind, Hawking and Hertog focused on this last paper. Hertog argues that the eternal inflation will have to leave behind Einstein’s theory of general relativity behind:
“The problem with the usual account of eternal inflation is that it assumes an existing background universe that evolves according to Einstein’s theory of general relativity and treats the quantum effects as small fluctuations around this. However, the dynamics of eternal inflation wipes out the separation between classical and quantum physics. As a consequence, Einstein’s theory breaks down in eternal inflation.”
The Universe Was Finite
The new version of Hawking and Hertog’s holographic principle contains four dimensions, including time. It also goes against the “no boundary” theory which Hawking proposed in 1983. Hertog explains that if we look back to the evolution of the universe, we get to the “threshold of eternal inflation”, where time has no meaning. This means that the universe after the Big Bang is infinite and the pocket universes represent many possibilities.
Hawking and Hertog’s “eternal inflation” also argues that space and time had a beginning and before that, the universe was finite, making scientific tests possible. Hawking explained it, saying that:
“We are not down to a single, unique universe, but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse, to a much smaller range of possible universes.”
How can we test the theory? Hertog said that they need a detector to sense primordial gravitational waves, which are the ripples in spacetime that were at the beginning of time. And there is such a device: LISA, an orbital gravitational wave observatory which will be launched by ESA in 2034.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.