Stephen Hawking's Big Bang: Final Theory Published Posthumously

Stephen Hawking's Big Bang: Final Theory Published Posthumously

The late Stephen Hawking's last paper, published Wednesday in the Journal of High Energy Physics, attempts to reign in the multiverse theory, a theory the physicist considered unwieldy and unprovable.

Speaking of his collaboration with Hawking, Hertog admitted that he thought it would be their last work together: "I always had the impression that he never wanted to quit and, in a way, this was Hawking".

However, in their co-publication, Hawking and Hertog say that despite being formed amidst radically different laws of physics, the individual universes may not be that different from one another. The theory is based on the idea that much of the universe kept expanding, infinitely, in the wake of the Big Bang, and only in small bubbles did expansion slow down and allow a physical order to be established.

"We are not down to a single, unique universe", said Hawking, "but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse, to a much smaller range of possible universes".

While this paper is the most recent development from Stephen Hawking, it isn't the first time that the physicist had touched on the idea - serving as an update to a 1980s theory with more modern mathematical techniques used in theory.

'When we trace the evolution of our universe backwards in time, at some point we arrive at the threshold of eternal inflation, where our familiar notion of time ceases to have any meaning, ' said Hertog. "I personally felt this might be the conclusion of our journey, but I never told him".

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Hawking passed away on 14 March, leaving behind one of the most influential legacies in science - a legacy that, judging from this little nugget, is also a gift that just keeps on giving.

Reality may be made up of multiple universes, but each one may not be so different to our own, according to Stephen Hawking's final theory of the cosmos. "As a outcome, Einstein's theory breaks down in eternal inflation".

"The most promising observable [phenomena], when it comes to our universe, are gravitational waves ... that are probably generated at the big bang, basically", he said in a video explaining the paper. If the universe has evolved as the theory predicts, he says, it may have left a telltale signature on gravitational waves, or the so-called cosmic microwave background, the radiation that was released at the birth of the universe. The new paper argues that the concept eternal inflation to explain the events that followed the big bang is just wrong.

"Hawking was not satisfied with this state of affairs", Hertog said. "We are projecting out the dimension of time from "before" the Big Bang".

Hawking and Hertog's paper relies on string theory, a branch of physics that tries to reunite quantum physics with gravity and Einstein's theory of relativity. Hertog said that they need a detector to sense primordial gravitational waves, which are the ripples in spacetime that were at the beginning of time.

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