Try To Wrap Your Brain Around This One

From the BBC News article “Hints of Time Before The Big Bang,” comes news of fluctuation found in cosmic microwave background radiation that may “contain hints that our Universe ‘bubbled off’ from a previous one.”

The article continues,

Their model suggests that new universes could be created spontaneously from apparently empty space. From inside the parent universe, the event would be surprisingly unspectacular.

Describing the team’s work at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in St Louis, Missouri, co-author Professor Sean Carroll explained that “a universe could form inside this room and we’d never know”.

. . .

In his presentation, the Caltech astronomer explained that by creating a Big Bang from the cold space of a previous universe, the new universe begins its life in . . . an ordered state.

The apparent direction of time – and the fact that it’s hard to put a broken egg back together – is the consequence.

Much work remains to be done on the theory: the researchers’ first priority will be to calculate the odds of a new universe appearing from a previous one.

In the meantime, the team have turned to the results from WMAP.

Detailed measurements made by the satellite have shown that the fluctuations in the microwave background are about 10% stronger on one side of the sky than those on the other.

Sean Carroll conceded that this might just be a coincidence, but pointed out that a natural explanation for this discrepancy would be if it represented a structure inherited from our universe’s parent.

Meanwhile, Professor Carroll urged cosmologists to broaden their horizons: “We’re trained to say there was no time before the Big Bang, when we should say that we don’t know whether there was anything – or if there was, what it was.”

If the Caltech team’s work is correct, we may already have the first information about what came before our own Universe.

In other words, that old stoner theory that our entire universe is some molecule in a purple piece of grass somewhere may just be accurate. To update Dr. L. Ron Bumquist from the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the five states of being in drug culture must now be considered square, hip, groovy, cool, and cosmologist.

What would be really groovy, or, perhaps I should say, cosmologist, was if a new universe bubbled off every time somebody said, “We can’t stop here! This is bat country!”

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