Hawking's final work is now available. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Lwp Kommunikacio / Flickr
Stephen Hawking's final theory of the cosmos was completed shortly before he passed away in March.
Published on Wednesday in the Journal of High Energy Physics, the paper was written as part of a collaboration between Hawking and physicist Thomas Hertog of the Catholic University of Leuven.
It proposes that reality is made up of multiple universes that may be very similar to our own.
Following the Big Bang, some scientists believe that there were repeat bursts of 'cosmic inflation' leading to the formation of numerous pocket universes with radically different laws of physics.
Hawking and Hertog however have challenged this idea by instead suggesting that these multiple universes may actually be very similar and thus not much different to our own universe.
"In the old theory there were all sorts of universes: some were empty, others were full of matter, some expanded too fast, others were too short-lived.," said Hertog. "There was huge variation."
"The mystery was why do we live in this special universe where everything is nicely balanced in order for complexity and life to emerge? This paper takes one step towards explaining that mysterious fine tuning. It reduces the multiverse down to a more manageable set of universes which all look alike."
"Stephen would say that, theoretically, it's almost like the universe had to be like this. It gives us hope that we can arrive at a fully predictive framework of cosmology."
Source: The Guardian | Comments (47)