Stephen Hawking: Before he died he revealed this mind-bending theory on the multiverse

Before his death, Stephen Hawking left a research paper that discussed a technique to prove or disprove the existence of parallel universes.

British researcher Stephen Hawking died of Charcot's disease on 14 March 2018 in Cambridge, aged 76. But two weeks before his death, the astrophysicist published a final paper in collaboration with Belgian physics professor Thomas Hertog. This article, entitled A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation, talks about the concept of the multiverse.

A multiverse that would have left its mark

Updated shortly before his death, the scientific article aims to challenge several theories connected to the Big Bang. In a statement, Stephen Hawking explained:

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 expanding ocean.

He added:

The local laws of physics and chemistry may differ from one pocket universe to another, which together would form a multiverse. But I've never been a fan of the multiverse. If the scale of the different universes in the multiverse is large or infinite, the theory cannot be tested.

So was Stephen Hawking ultimately against the multiverse theory? Not really. In fact, he proposed another, 'simpler' theory.

Multiverses that we could detect

'We assume that the exit from eternal inflation does not produce an infinite multiverse of the fractal type but that it is finite and reasonably smoother,' said the researcher. In simpler words, if there is a multiverse, there would be fewer parallel universes than expected.

For Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog, parallel universes were bound to be measurable through the radiation generated by the Big Bang. The technique capable of proving or disproving the existence of these parallel worlds would therefore be based on a probe. According to Cambridge University:

Hertog plans to study the implications of the new theory at smaller scales that are within the reach of our space telescopes.

Experts told The Times that such work could potentially win the Nobel Prize. However, the award cannot be given after death, hence, unfortunately, Stephen Hawking was not eligible.

This article was translated from Gentside FR.

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