Have you ever sat under the stars and contemplated how it all begin? Then you might be interested in the many theories of the universe that attempt to explain its origins.
We’ve all heard of the Big Bang Theory and are aware that our universe is expanding, but what other theories are out there? Are there more controversial theories of the universe that provide a better understanding of how we got here? Or are we letting our imaginations go wild? Well, let’s see, shall we?
Here are 5 controversial theories of the universe that might just blow your mind:
A Recycled Universe
One theory is that our universe constantly recycles itself. Every trillion years, the universe explodes into life, much like the Big Bang, but not just the once. It is a never-ending cycle of rebirth and death. Called the ‘Cyclic Universe theory‘, it could help explain why the universe is not expanding as fast as suggested by the Big Bang theory.
In fact, it could also support an early theory by Einstein regarding the ‘cosmological constant’. Einstein described this as a static area in space which is not expanding. This constant is known as ‘lambda’ but was rejected as a theory when Edwin Hubble discovered the universe was indeed, expanding. The theory is that this lambda decays over time, thus forcing the cyclical nature of death and rebirth.
Our Universe Is a Hologram
What is a holographic universe? Well, we are not living in some kind of Matrix hell, it is more to do with dimensions. Astrophysicists investigated anomalies in the cosmic background noise left after the Big Bang. They found evidence to support the case for a holographic universe.
We exist in three dimensions, but scientists propose that we actually live in a 2D state. It is hard to imagine, but just think of your credit or debit card and the hologram on that. It is a 3D image on a 2D surface. Or watching a 3D film on a basic 2D TV. When we watch something on a flat screen, our brain processes it in 3D despite us knowing it is flat.
The difference in our holographic universe is that we can touch, feel, smell and taste.
One of our less controversial theories of the universe but one that is no less strange is the String Theory. This too takes into consideration the dimensions of space and time. But String Theory posits that our universe is just a tiny part of a much larger multi-universe. This multi-universe is nine-dimensional, but we can only see three dimensions.
Furthermore, our universe would appear flat, like a sheet of paper. This means that other universes could lie below us or on top, they could differ along the lines of time, space, or size. What this suggests is that every universe is different to ours.
For example, some could be almost identical, whereas others might not exist at all. Scientists who believe in this theory think that if we travel far enough we could end up meeting parallel versions of ourselves.
We start off this one of our controversial theories of the universe in a vacuum. Within that vacuum is energy. This energy is bouncing around all over the place. In fact, imagine that the vacuum is a pot of water, simmering on the stove, and the energy is the bubbles in the water as it heats up. Some of these bubbles evaporate, others bump into one another, and some grow bigger, others smaller. But each one is a universe.
This is the Bubble Universe theory. Bubble theory originates from what we know about the rate by which the universe is expanding. But if there are bubble universes, couldn’t we bump into one? Perimeter Associate Faculty at York University, Matthew Johnson, has been running the simulations:
“We simulate the whole universe. We start with a multiverse that has two bubbles in it, we collide the bubbles on a computer to figure out what happens, and then we stick a virtual observer in various places and ask what that observer would see from there.”
The Universe Was Made for Humans
The lambda crops up in another one of our controversial theories of the universe. Our planet is in what is called the Goldilocks habitable zone. But could our universe also be in this zone as well? Called the Anthropic Principle, this theory suggests that the perfect conditions in the universe are specifically designed to support human life.
For example, if the lambda had been too big, the universe would have destroyed itself shortly after the Big Bang. However, the lambda is extremely small. As such, only intelligent beings, i.e. humans, can observe it and appreciate it for what it is. In other words, our universe must be made for those that have the intelligence to observe it.
There are many theories of the universe, but no one has yet come up with a definite answer as to how we got here. The popular vote appears to go to a kind of multi-universe. However, it is such a complex subject we may not know if this is true in our lifetime.