Before his death, the great scientist, in a group with colleagues, had been developing his “final” theory for several years. Now it is being reviewed in one of the scientific journals, and will be published after verification. This theory should show what characteristics our world should have if it is part of the multiverse. Hawking’s colleagues say the work would have earned him the Nobel Prize, which he never received during his lifetime.
The theory is called A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation. Scientists who helped Stephen Hawking during his work say that this may be his most important scientific legacy, more important than his work on the study of black holes. In his theory, he sets the necessary mathematics to enable the space shuttle to find traces of several Big Bangs. Previously, most physicists and cosmologists believed that it was technically impossible to confirm the existence of a multiverse from our universe.
The scientist finished his work shortly before his death. The new publication will also solve the problem posed by Hawking in his 1983 “limitless” theory. She explained how the universe began to exist as a result of the Big Bang. According to the theory, the universe expanded from a microscopic point into a prototype of where we now live in a split second through a process known as inflation. But the same theory predicted the possibility of an infinite number of Big Bangs, where each would create his own universe. It turned out to be an infinite multiverse, which posed a mathematical paradox. Not only is it impossible to measure, it makes no sense to measure it.
Scientists have defended themselves against this infinite multiverse using the anthropic principle. Like, our Universe is what it is, because we live in it. Each value of the world constants came out randomly. In other worlds with different laws of nature, we would not exist. Many physicists are confused by this approach – “if all constants are random, is there any point in trying to find logic in the characteristics of our Universe”?
Hawking’s new theory will remove anthropic arguments, they can only be used for a limited number of parameters (for example, to explain why inflation is accelerating slowly). Also, in all likelihood, the number of universes in the multiverse is not infinite, as previously thought, but limited. This means that their parameters are measurable and calculable.
Carlos Frank, professor of cosmology at the University of Durham, explains that the main achievement of the theory is that it is relatively easy to confirm (at least by the standards of modern physics). There is no need to build the Large Hadron Collider here. A moving spacecraft with a detector that reads the background radiation is enough – the imprint of the first seconds after the Big Bang – in search of traces of the multiverse.
Professor Thomas Hertog of the University of Leuven in Belgium, who worked on the new theory with Hawking, says he met with the scientist just two weeks ago to discuss the final details:
He was often nominated for the Nobel, and should have received it. Now he will never be able to.
So far, Hawking’s theory has not yet been tested and published in scientific journals, but you can read it in the public domain here. Free, online PDF, but you have to be roughly Stephen Hawking to figure it out.