Could alien life exist in a parallel universe? Computer simulations from two new research recommend the concept won’t be out of this world.
Should the seek for alien life in our universe come up empty-handed, it may be value checking in on a neighboring universe as an alternative.
According to a new pair of research in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, there’s a respectable probability that life-fostering planets might exist in a parallel universe — even when that universe have been being torn aside by darkish vitality.
The concept that our universe is only one of many, maybe infinite, different universes is called the multiverse theory. Scientists have beforehand thought that such parallel universes, in the event that they exist, must meet an especially strict set of standards to permit for the formation of stars, galaxies and life-fostering planets like these seen in our personal universe. [5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse]
In the brand new research, researchers ran a huge pc simulation to construct new universes underneath varied beginning situations. They discovered that the situations for all times may be a little broader than beforehand thought — particularly on the subject of the mysterious pull of darkish vitality.
Dark energy is a mysterious, invisible pressure thought to exist in the empty areas of our universe. You might give it some thought because the archnemesis of gravity; whereas gravity pulls matter nearer collectively, darkish vitality flings it aside — and darkish vitality is successful this cosmic tug-of-war handily.
Not solely is our universe increasing, because of the fixed, invisible push of darkish vitality, however the charge of that enlargement can also be getting faster and faster every day. It’s thought that, as extra empty area seems in the universe, much more darkish vitality seems to fill it. (Dark vitality shouldn’t be the identical as dark matter, which is an ample, invisible type of matter considered accountable for some very weird gravitational phenomena round area.)
Scientists do not know precisely what darkish vitality is or the way it works; some suppose it is an intrinsic property of area — what Einstein known as the cosmological constant — whereas others attribute it to a basic pressure known as quintessence, with dynamic guidelines all its personal. Others do not even agree that it exists. But no matter it’s, everybody can agree that there is a entire lot of it: According to one of the best present estimates, almost 70 p.c of the mass-energy of our universe could also be made from darkish vitality.
This amount, for no matter purpose, is in the appropriate vary to permit galaxies to develop and foster life. It is assumed that if we lived in a universe with an excessive amount of darkish vitality, area would possibly increase quicker than galaxies might presumably kind. Too little darkish vitality, and runaway gravity might trigger each galaxy to break down in on itself earlier than life ever had a probability to look.
But the query of how a lot darkish vitality is “too much” or “too little” is a subject for debate — and it is this problem of amount that the authors of the brand new research hoped to slender down.
Life finds a manner
Across a number of experiments, a global staff of researchers from England, Australia and the Netherlands used a program known as Evolution and Assembly of Galaxies and their Environmentsto simulate the beginning, life and eventual dying of assorted hypothetical universes. In every simulation, the researchers adjusted the quantity of darkish vitality current in that universe, starting from none to a number of hundred occasions the quantity in our personal universe.
The excellent news: Even in universes with 300 occasions as a lot darkish vitality as ours, life discovered a manner.
“Our simulations showed that the accelerated expansion driven by dark energy has hardly any impact on the birth of stars, and hence places for life to arise,” research co-author Pascal Elahi, a analysis fellow on the University of Western Australia, stated in a statement. “Even increasing dark energy many hundreds of times might not be enough to make a dead universe.”
That’s excellent news for followers of extraterrestrial life and the multiverse principle. But a larger query stays: If galaxies might nonetheless thrive on a lot darkish vitality, why did our universe get handed such a seemingly small quantity?
“I think we should be looking for a new law of physics to explain this strange property of our Universe,” co-author Richard Bower, a professor at Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, stated in the assertion.
Of course, finding new laws of physics is easier said than done. Scientists will not hand over simply — however maybe, to hedge their bets, they need to additionally search for a parallel universe the place some clever life has already carried out it for them.
Originally printed on Live Science.