probably read about how the Universe is expanding, and has been expanding since
the beginning of time. Over the course of 13.8 billion years or so, it's
stretched from the size of a billionth of a proton to the vast, unknowable
expanse it is today. In fact, recent research suggests that it's actually
expanding faster than our current laws of physics can explain, and that's kind of a problem.
But all of
that aside, whenever someone mentions our expanding Universe, we get a big, fat
(turtle-surfing) elephant in the room. Because if the Universe is expanding,
what exactly is it expanding into?
As Fraser Cain from Universe Today explains, one possibility is that it's expanding into
an unfathomable cosmic void called the multiverse, which harbours not just our
own Universe, but a multitude of parallel universes. We kinda want this to be
the right answer, because if parallel universes really do exist, shit's about
to get so weird.
As the video above explains, the laws of physics as we know them wouldn't necessarily apply
in other universes. Things are fundamental to us and everything we know, such as
the pull of gravity or the binding strength of atoms, that simply would not
exist in other universes.
each one of these basic constants, it's as if the laws of physics randomly
rolled the dice, and came up with our Universe," says Cain. "Maybe in
another universe, the force of gravity is repulsive, or green, or spawns
universe to form with the right combination of physical laws to allow for life
to evolve, it's a monkeys and typewriters situation - roll the dice an infinite
number of times, and you'll eventually get it right.
So let's say
there are multiple universes - what if our Universe actually expanded so close
to a neighboring universe, it bumped into it?
signs of such a 'cosmic bruise' do exist, and scientists have been trying to explain them for decades. In fact, there's one region in our Universe that's so
confounding, scientists have literally called it the Axis of Evil.
According to Cain, there are a bunch of explanations that could explain the weirdness of the
Axis of Evil more reliably than it being the site of a great 'meeting of the
universes', but we can't throw that possibility out just yet. And if it really
is the case, what's happening to the poor aliens living in the universe that
we're so rudely overlapping?
I'll let the video above handle that one, but let's just say it's somewhere between whatever
the average of seven and green is, and the sum of 26 and unicorn dreams. Thanks
a lot, science.