Evidence Grows for Multiverse → Washingtons Blog
Evidence Grows for Multiverse - Washingtons Blog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Evidence Grows for Multiverse

Evidence is growing that we don't just live in a universe. Rather, our universe is just one of many universes, in a bigger "multiverse".

As National Geographic reported Monday:

In 2008 scientists reported the discovery of hundreds of galaxy clusters streaming in the same direction at more than 2.2 million miles (3.6 million kilometers) an hour.

By way of background, I pointed out last May:

[One region of space] has such a massive gravitational pull, that it is pulling our entire galaxy and all of the nearby galaxies towards it at the speed of 1,000,000 miles an hour ...

We don't feel any movement because everything on Earth and in our galaxy is moving at the same speed. In other words, we don't feel the movement for the same reason that we don't feel the Earth rotate: everything around us is rotating at the same time.

Back to National Geographic:

This mysterious motion can't be explained by current models for distribution of mass in the universe. So the researchers made the controversial suggestion that the clusters are being tugged on by the gravity of matter outside the known universe.

Now the same team has found that the dark flow extends even deeper into the universe than previously reported: out to at least 2.5 billion light-years from Earth.

After using two additional years' worth of data and tracking twice the number of galaxy clusters, "we clearly see the flow, we clearly see it pointing in the same direction," said study leader Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

"It looks like a very coherent flow."

The find adds to the case that chunks of matter got pushed outside the known universe shortly after the big bang —which in turn hints that our universe is part of something larger: a multiverse.


The new study is based on the collective motion of about 1,400 galaxy clusters, and seeing dark flow with the greater number of clusters gives the researchers more confidence in their result.


Kashlinsky speculates that the dark flow extends "all the way across the visible universe," or about 47 billion light-years, which would fit with the notion that the clusters are being pulled by matter that lies beyond known horizons.

Dark flow, he said, "would be much more difficult to explain theoretically if it extended [2.5 billion light-years] and then just stopped."

In related news, Ben Bernanke changed the subject when asked if the dark matter outside of our universe is really off balance sheet liabilities of the U.S. government.

Note: An earlier National Geographic story makes it clear that the dark matter is only mysterious because it lies outside the boundary of the "known universe", in reference to the big bang:

Current models say the known, or visible, universe—which extends as far as light could have traveled since the big bang—is essentially the same as the rest of space-time (the three dimensions of space plus time).
Michael Rivero, who doesn't buy into the big bang theory, argues that - instead of this evidence proving that we live in a multiverse - it may instead disprove the big bang. As Rivero writes in response to my essay:

The Big Bang is just religion disguised as science, and there really is no border to the universe.

What the evidence reported in the story is showing is that there is enough matter to create a gravity field detectable in the motions of the galaxies we can see from Earth, but the gravity field points to a source well outside the presumed edge of the universe which has been calculated from the observed red shift, which is assumed to be caused solely by relative velocity. But since the prime assumption is that our "banged" universe cannot reach that far, that there simply must be a wholly separate universe out there. Of curse, since "universe" means "all that there is", whatever is out there creating this gravity field is by definition part of this universe, which creates a paradox for the Big Bangers.

But here is another one that I postulated some time back for which no banger has yet had an answer.

When we gaze out into the night sky, we see galaxies extending into the distance as far as we can see, in every direction. The presumed size of the universe (and its age) keep getting revised as more distant objects get detected, but here it the problem. If the universe is finite, it should appear lopsided. In one direction we should see the end of the universe much more closely than the opposite direction, unless the Earth just happened to be in the exact center of that universe, and of course the odds against that are (pardon the expression) astronomical!


The fact is that this latest discovery puts the final nail in the Big Bang model, even though the die-hard bangers will refuse to see it.


  1. Also, it should be noted that a fractal universe explains Olber's Paradox not to mention the fact that the speed of light is finite.

  2. This is a very interesting piece. I had read about this work previously and found it quite shocking. If these observations continue to be confirmed by additional observations, this would be one of the most ground breaking discoveries in Astronomy - right up there with the discovery of galaxies in the early part of the 20th century. It would challenge us to admit that we know very little about the 'universe' that we live in. If matter exists far beyond the bounds of the known universe, then we can say that we know very little and that many great truths are yet to come. Personally, I'm very excited by this.

  3. I am always amused with articles like this. The Big Bang, as if it where a fact, dark matter, that no one has ever found or proven to exist. Ever stop to think that all of this so - called "experts" do not have a clue? There are many other theories that are just as credible as this nonsense, yet nobody wants to discuss them. As if these government funded "scientists" are all knowing and all seeing. Sounds more like a fringe religion than any objective scientific study.

  4. The whole edifice of modern cosmology is based on the questionable assumption of red shift correlating to distance and speed of recession.
    Hamilton Arp's observations of differing redshifts from close bodies calls this assumption into question yet speculation based on this assumption continues regardless.
    Modern Cosmology seems to have more in common with religion than science.
    Real scientists would present these theories as just that, speculative theory based on questionable assumptions, not as the unquestionable revealed truth of a caste of prophets.

  5. The great unknown is infiverse. The multiverse concept is to limited.

  6. What I find interesting is the use of the term "known universe"...is that to say we've explored the boundaries in some form?

    It would be very interesting to learn of any differences in the laws of our physics in these alternate regions of space/time.

    I wonder for the things to come with the galactic alignment in our own universe, experiments proved that magnetic fields cause human brains to react in ways we cannot explain.
    Perhaps, the dormant portions of our minds will awaken and be a positive evolution.

  7. big bang definitely does not add up. thanks for pointing it out so ... poignantly.

    the universe or multiverse is infinite.
    infinity ....

  8. Unfortunately for commenters who seem to think it's a bad thing, religion is compatible with the concept of a multiverse, too. Necessary, even. Whenever you're dealing with cosmologies that require you to set aside the structures of observable physics, you've just crossed over into faith.

  9. the universe is an atom, a component of a larger structure and that structure is just an atom of another larger structure and on and on for infinity, as well as atoms are their own universes infinitely smaller each atom being made up of another infinitely smaller universe.

    there is no beginning and no end.

  10. The physical universe we see it created via the CTP Energy Cycle(tm) http://www.ctpenergy.com

  11. Evidence grows for multiple big bangs, which may be as vast as the drops of water in the ocean, and continuing to this very day. There is no visible universe. The extent of what's visible is only what we see in the drop of water we occupy.

  12. I think occam's razor is well over-due to being applied to cosmology.

    Rather than this being evidence of yet more stuff `we cannot see', a simpler and more obvious take is that the basic model is incorrect (yet again), or breaks down on larger scales.

    Neither of these things are `bad', as models are only models, they are not reality, and thus by definition only apply to a restricted view of reality. Not being able to recognise the limitations is where the `science' is lacking. In any other 'science', holding onto an idea once evidence contradicts it gets you rightly labeled a quack.

    (although perhaps it is fitting this is on an economics blog - economics being another soft science where evidence appears to have little weight)

  13. "I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number..."

  14. 'Evidence is growing that we don't just live in a universe.'


    'Kashlinsky speculates that the dark flow extends "all the way across the visible universe," or about 47 billion light-years, which would fit with the notion that the clusters are being pulled by matter that lies beyond known horizons.'

    Speculation is not evidence. Spectacular leaps of faith are not evidence. The "Great Attractor" has been known about for decades, and its location was first established in 1986; first estimates put it 150 million light years away, while more recently it is said to be 250 million light years distant. There is also evidence supporting the notion of an even bigger attractor beyond the "Great Attractor", in the Shapley Supercluster, but even that supercluster is estimated to be only about 650 million light years away.

    My suspicion is that they will eventually discover a neat line of these attractors, all on the same line of sight from Earth so that the closer ones obscure the more distant ones, and all spaced at regular intervals, maybe (200+600n) million light years or thereabouts distant from us, where n=0,1,2,3 etcetera. This is because all these supposedly distinct attractors will turn out to be multiple images of the same region of space, viewed by light which has orbited it .3, 1.3, 2.3, 3.3 times or thereabouts respectively.

    We are actively discouraged from thinking of light as following curved paths. It follows "geodesics", and these are "maximally straight", and you can't get straighter than that. But every planet and moon follows a geodesic, and the maximal straightness of these geodesics doesn't stop us from describing them as circles or ellipses. Only in the case of light must we never equate geodesics with circles. But every new cosmological observation of the last several decades could have been anticipated, if only we would see the universe as a relatively small closed system around which light perpetually orbits, creating in effect a "hall of mirrors" in which distorted images of our own region of space extend indefinitely in every direction.

    If you think that's unlikely, consider the likelihood of an entity that's more than 23 billion light years distant from us having an attractive influence that significantly affects everything we see, including stuff that's 23 billion light years from us in the opposite direction, in a universe which otherwise appears to be fairly homogeneous apart from a couple of unusually dense concentrations of galaxies which just happen to lie in the same direction as this hypothesized entity.

  15. OK I was attracted, I love this stuff and this lively conversation seemed sort of profound but by the end of the page I'm starting to suspect we are again self absorbed and playing on the mental jungle gym together. OK fun, a good distraction. Now time to land back on earth - here and now.

  16. The further we look at anything, the more questions and mysteries seem to arise. It seems our search for intellectual closure is a pretty hopeless pursuit. In a world where the bedrock of our bedrock of sciences (quantum within physics) shows us matter itself doesn't seem to "exist" outside observation, how can we ever claim full knowledge of anything?

  17. Hasn't anyone seen the last few frames of the first "Men in Black" movie? These questions are all explained quite well there, with no religion involved.

    Absent that, it's clear we need Dr. Who!


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