Hawking's last physics paper argues for a 'simpler' cosmos

Hawking's last physics paper argues for a 'simpler' cosmos

The theory, in short, explains that the universe is a lot more simple and finite when compared to what many existing theories on the big bang say, notes a report by the University of Cambridge.

It is thought that once this inflation begins the quantum effects can keep it going indefinitely. This eternal inflation produces a "multiverse", a collection of pocket universes of which our own universe is just one.

"The usual theory of eternal inflation predicts that globally our universe is like an infinite fractal, with a mosaic of different pocket universes separated by an inflating ocean", Hawking said a year ago. Local laws of physics and chemistry can differ from one pocket universe to another, which together would form a multiverse. But I have never been a fan of the multiverse.

A recent multiverse theory from Stephen Hawking suggests that the multiple universes that make up reality might not be too different from 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.

Prof Hawking said before his death: "We are not down to a single, unique universe, but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse, to a much smaller range of possible universes". "So it is not a fractal structure".

This idea, championed by Hawking and Hertog, also implies that there are infinite universes.

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Prof Hawking was always troubled by this idea, which at a fundamental level can not be reconciled with Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

"However, the dynamics of eternal inflation wipes out the separation between classical and quantum physics".

The pre-print version of the paper - titled "A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation?" - has been circulating for months.

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.

Hertog says that this approach could help physicists in future to work on developing a complete theory that explains the entire universe and how it really came to be. That'd mean a testable set of predictable, observable elements with which to test this theory.

Professor Hertog whose work has been supported by the European Research Council, already has plans to test it by looking for gravitational waves that could have been generated by eternal inflation.

"The usual theory of eternal inflation predicts that globally our universe is like an infinite fractal, with a mosaic of different pocket universes, separated by an inflating ocean", Hawking said in an interview last autumn, according to the University of Cambridge.

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