Cosmologists claim universe is riding on an expanding bubble in an extra dimension
- Researchers have proposed a new model to explain the universe’s expansion
- New model suggests universe and dark energy are part of an expanding bubble
- It also says matter is associated with strings that stretch out into extra dimension
Researchers have proposed a new model that could finally help to explain the expansion of our universe.
For the last two decades, it’s been widely accepted that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, driven by an unseen force known as dark energy.
Building off of a concept known as the string theory, the new work proposes the idea that dark energy and our universe are part of an expanding bubble that sits within a fourth dimension.
In the new paper published to the journal Physical Review letters, the team argues that all of the matter in the universe is associated with such strings described in the string theory, which extend out from a bubble in all directions. Artist’s impression
According to the radical new model proposed by a team of researchers at Uppsala University, our universe is positioned on the edge of this expanding bubble.
It also incorporates the vibrating stringlike entities said to make up all matter in the string theory.
Though researchers have used the string theory in attempt to explain dark energy, many such efforts have been met with criticism over the last 15 years.
Now, the Uppsala team is hoping to fill some of the gaps in the string theory and our understanding of dark energy’s role in the universe’s expansion with their bubble concept.
In the new paper published to the journal Physical Review letters, the team argues that all of the matter in the universe is associated with such strings described in the string theory, which extend out from the bubble in all directions.
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Instead of the three dimensions, the researchers say this entire setup lies within an ‘extra,’ fourth dimension.
‘In this context, the cosmology we see as 4D observers is not due to vacuum energy, but rather arises as an effective description on a dynamical object embedded in a higher dimensional space,’ the researchers write in the paper.
For the last two decades, it’s been widely accepted that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, driven by an unseen force known as dark energy. Artist’s impression
WHAT IS THE STRING THEORY?
At its most basic level, string theory, also known as the ‘theory of everything,’ proposes that all objects in our universe are composed of vibrating filaments (strings) and membranes of energy.
The theory suggests that each so-called fundamental particle contains a tiny, vibrating, one-dimensional loop of string. The vibration of the string determines the charge and mass of the greater particle.
String theory works in ten or eleven dimensions and we only experience four.
Scientists have theorised that the missing dimensions are curled up into a compact space. If the space is tiny, on the scale of the strings, then we would be unable to detect them.
Scientists are hopeful that string theory will solve one of the biggest mysteries of the universe; how gravity and quantum physics work fit together.
The new model also allows for the possibility of other universes beyond our own, which eat sitting atop its own expanding bubble.
‘One might wonder about the stability of the universe on top of the shell,’ the researchers note in the paper.
‘An obvious decay channel would be another bubble of true vacuum nucleating on top of the shell.
‘However, this decay channel seems to be absent, giving a strong indication in favor of the stability of these bubbles. We intend to analyze the issue of stability in detail in an upcoming work.’
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