Before Stephen Hawking Died, He Revised Multiverse Theory One Last Time

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The work, released in the Journal of High Energy Physics, is a collaboration with Belgian physicist, Thomas Hertog.

This formulation, derived from Hawking's research with his American colleague James Hartle in the 1980s, posed a massive problem, if there are infinite universes with infinite variations in their physical laws, there is no way to predict which Universe we are in.

"We are not reduced to a single Universe, but our findings imply a considerable reduction of the "multiverse", to a much smaller range of possible universes", the professor said before his death. Some scientists say there's no way to subject the paper's claims to observational tests, but Hertog insists it's possible to find evidence backing up (or knocking down) the hypothesis. Physicists could find the evidence of other universes using tools created to measure ripples in spacetime which is also known as primordial gravitational waves.

The European Space Agency's Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA, "should be ideally suited to capture those gravitational waves from the big bang", Hertog said.

This resolved a difficulty with Einsteins theory that suggested that the universe began almost 14 billion years ago but said nothing about how it began. The thinking is that after the Big Bang, the universe or all the universes started to expand, but that process never stopped in some places. And just before he died, he left us with one last theory to turn our heads inside-out: a revision of the multiverse theory known as eternal inflation.

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For Stephen Hawking, it seemed like altering humanity's view on life, the universe, and everything was just something to do on a Friday night: whether it was quantum theory or black holes or looking toward the extinction of humanity, the man seemed to have an endless stream of mind-blowing new ideas.

"The local laws of physics and chemistry can differ from one pocket universe to another, which together would form a multiverse".

Prof Hertog, from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KT Leuven), said: "It's a very precise mathematical notion of holography that has come out of string theory in the last few years which is not fully understood but is mind-boggling and changes the scene completely". Among other things, it predicts an infinite number of universes exist alongside our own.

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. Ultimately, this allowed the physicists to reduce eternal inflation to a timeless state on a spatial surface.