August 15, 2022

The papers also detail how humanity could discover the multiverse

Just two weeks before his death, Stephen Hawking submitted a research paper discussing parallel universes and how our universe may come to an end.

The legendary physicist co-authored the paper with Thomas Hertog, who has suggested the work could have put Hawking in line for a Nobel prize.

The research is titled ‘A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation’, and details how scientists may also be able to detect other universes using a spaceship – and how our universe will eventually end.

In the paper, Hawking describes his “no boundary theory” which argues that when the ‘Big Bang’ took place, several other ‘Big Bangs’ happened at the same time, creating multiple universes.

Hawking, who died in 2018, suggests that these universes could be found using a probe on a spaceship. The paper suggests that the multiverse left an imprint on the background radiation in our universe, and sets out the maths needed for a space probe to find evidence of this.

Hertog told the Sunday Times that Hawking was inspired to write the paper because the two of them wanted to give the concept of the multiverse a “testable scientific framework.”

He said that the research could have put Hawking in line for a Nobel prize, saying: “He has often been nominated for the Nobel and should have won it. Now he never can.”

Carlos Frenk, a professor of cosmology at Durham University said: “The intriguing idea in Hawking’s paper is that [the multiverse] left its imprint on the background radiation permeating our universe and we could measure it with a detector on a spaceship.

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He added. “These ideas offer the breathtaking prospect of finding evidence for the existence of other universes. This would profoundly change our perception of our place in the cosmos.”

The most controversial aspect of the paper though surrounds Hawking’s views on how our universe will come to an end.

He suggests that our universe will eventually fade into darkness as the stars run out of energy, a controversial theory among some cosmologists.

In the later years of his life, Hawking made no secret of his belief that humans need to quickly find a way of escaping Earth.

In April 2016, he declared that humanity “must ultimately spread to the stars” in order to survive as a species.

And at the Starmus Festival in Norway in June 2017, he told a crowd: “We are running out of space, and the only place we can go to are other worlds.

“It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves.”

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