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If you believe yourself a knowledgeable person, well, that might be true. But what we humans don’t have any clue about is astronomical and humbling. Consider dark matter: Scientists know it’s there, and in fact, the mysterious substance could make up most of everything around us and may hold the universe together.
Now physicists believe that dark matter could have astounding, never-before-imagined potential. If what they are saying is true, dark matter is the evidence of a mirror image universe, an alternate reality. Not only that, but they suspect dark matter particles may be able to travel between the two universes.
Science fiction shows have explored the idea of alternate/ parallel universes/ dimensions in-depth.
What if it’s not science fiction at all?
In the Netflix series, The OA, the characters unlock the potential to travel to another dimension with an intricate series of dance moves. A group of unlikely participants joins Prarie Johnson, played by Brit Marling, who learns that another version of herself exists in a paralell universe and has a completely different life due to slight changes in her life choices.
Now, what if the part about alternative dimensions is true, and has literally been in front of our noses all along?
Her journey continues, across dimensions!
— That's Normal (@Thats_Normal) April 17, 2019
Before that in the TV series, Fringe, the mad-scientist-like genius Walter White, played by John Noble, explains the concept of Déjà vu to FBI agent Olivia Dunham, played by Anna Torv. A main part of the Fringe storyline involved an alternate universe. White explains that when we experience Déjà vu and have the feeling we’ve been somewhere or done something before, the reason is that a part of us actually has.
“Déjà vu is simply a momentary glimpse to the other side,” says White. “Everyone experiences it. We feel that we’ve been somewhere before because actually, we have in another reality,” he explains.
The late Leonard Nimoy played William Bell on Fringe, Walter Bishop’s former friend and collaborator. In the clip below, he explains to Dunham how slight changes in life choices can lead to extremely different outcomes in an alternate universe.
See a clip of the show below:
Although many people consider these ideas truly outlandish, researchers and scientists are coming to believe they may not be so outlandish after all. Multiple dimensions may not be science fiction, but the way we will one day accept reality.
Consider that most kids learn in school Newton’s Third Law, the concept that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” A pair of forces are always at work when two objects interact.
“Forces always come in pairs – equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs.”
Now given that this is one of the fundamental laws of physics, though not always true, we might consider that objects in this universe have an equal and opposite paralell existence.
Physicist Leah Broussard is trying to determine in real life what’s going on in a mirror-image universe. She and colleagues from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee believe that particles of dark matter could “phase back and forth between our familiar universe and the mirror-image one.” The universes touch one another and are not really separate after all.
The idea would change our very view of reality.
“The implications would be astounding,” says Broussard.
— Oak Ridge Lab (@ORNL) November 24, 2018
New Scientist discusses the research:
“Along with her colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, she is on the hunt for a universe that is identical to our own, but flipped so that it contains mirror atoms, mirror molecules, mirror stars and planets, and even mirror life. If it exists, it would form a bubble of reality nestling within the fabric of space and time alongside our own familiar universe, with some particles capable of switching between the two.”
— New Scientist (@newscientist) June 5, 2019
Broussard will test this idea by firing beams of neutrons at an impassable wall, then looking for signs that some of those neutrons “phased through” the wall.
The physicists are exploring the possibility that neutrons can turn into dark matter particles. The experiments could improve the understanding of why the universe seems to be “made of matter and not antimatter.” The findings could get physicists closer to a new “Theory of Everything” that dramatically changes the current Standard Model of particle physics.
Featured image: Mirror image cities via Pixabay