A new study submitted to the Astrophysical Journal has claimed to have found evidence of interactions between our universe and other universes by looking at the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The scientist discovered an anomaly associated with some regions of the CMB, and he believes it is evidence for alternate universes.
Dr Ranga Chary, the author of the study, wrote that his observations could "possibly be due to the collision of our universe with an alternate universe whose baryon to photon ratio is a factor of about 65 larger than ours." A pre-print of the study, which is yet to be peer reviewed, is available on ArXiv.
The CMB is the first light that shone in the universe. It was emitted 370,000 years after the Big Bang when the universe was cool enough for hydrogen to form and the original photons were free to move without getting absorbed by the primordial matter.
Although it is very uniform, there are small but detectable differences in the CMB which correspond to regions of slightly different densities: the slightly denser areas are the seeds where galaxies and stars eventually formed.
The CMB is not the only microwave emission in the sky. Hot dust and magnetic fields are responsible for producing microwaves as well. When the CMB was mapped all those emissions were carefully modelled and eliminated; this was to make sure that the signal observed was made up exclusively of the CMB photons.
Using these maps, Dr Chary from CalTech has detected an anomalous emission associated with five cold spots of the CMB (the blue areas in the map above), areas which were slightly denser after the Big Bang. The researcher claims that these emissions are consistent with a collision with an alternate universe.
Of course, this is just one possible explanation and a pretty unverifiable theory at the moment. It is also not the first time that researchers have made exceptional claims about the CMB. Roger Penrose claimed to have detected concentric anomalies which were consistent with his idea that the universe iterates through infinite cycles.
Others have claimed that, as the CMB looks the same from every region of the universe, it is the perfect place for aliens or divine beings to leave a message. If that were to be the case, you might hope for something along the line of Douglas Adams’ suggestion, where God’s final message to his creation is: “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
The paper suggests also a more commonplace and perhaps more realistic explanation as, in 30% of the cases, the emission is consistent with foreground sources which have not been exactly taken into account in the map.