Last month, scientists announced the discovery of gravitational waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation.
These gravitational waves are ripples in space-time left over from when the universe rapidly expanded – in merely a fraction of a second – after the Big Bang, and were predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
For a brief overview, check out the following video:
While the big story here is that scientists have potentially confirmed the existence of cosmic inflation, inflation itself could open another curious door: the existence of the multiverse.
The gravitational waves (or “imprints” of them in the CMB) were observed by scientists working on the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2 (BICEP2) experiment at the South Pole. They announced their find on March 17, 2014. The results will, however, have to be confirmed.
While it’s a controversial idea (as it is currently untestable), if the multiverse exists, it would be to our universe what galaxies are to our stars: an ocean of universes, each independent from (and unobservable by) the other, existing in pockets of stability in the inflationary field.
One of those universes would just happen to be the one we call home.
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