Ahh, the vastness of space – isn’t it a lovely thought? Sometimes I look up into the sky and think to myself, “Thank god I am so significant when it comes to the endless abyss of space.” As a species, we’ve been obsessed with space for a long time – and time can sometimes drive you crazy. But, without further ado, here are the top 9 space theories that will make you gasp.
9. Simulation station
If you’ve been on the internet at all in the last few years, you’ve probably heard this theory. According to philosopher Nick Bostrum, we’re probably living inside a computer simulation. The theory assumes that if it ever becomes possible for us to simulate consciousness, then presumably future simulations would do it. Most perceived universes would then be simulated, so it’s probable that we’re in one of them.
8. Sterile neutrino’s supercharge
Dark matter might be comprised of the shyest particles ever – sterile neutrinos. They’re the hypothetical cousins of regular neutrinos – interacting with matter only through gravity (and basically rendering them impossible to detect). Sterile neutrinos could cause a whole bunch of funky things in the universe – including giving neutron stars the kick they need to go zooming around our galaxy.
7. Light has slowed down
Opposite sides of our universe look the same, which has proven a pretty puzzling conundrum for scientists. Even in the early stages of the big bang, there wasn’t much time for light to travel from one side to the another. Nor was there time for temperature and density to even out – but they are even. One theory is that light used to move much faster – but for it to work we would require a total overhaul of Einstein’s theory of relativity, oops.
6. It’s a small world (universe) out there
Scientists have theorized that the universe is actually pretty small. There are no big spots in the background of the cosmic microwave, so it’s possible that when it was being produced, it simply couldn’t hold those big spots. One idea is that the universe is a kind of trumpet shape, allowing any smaller microwave spots to stretch out into what we see today. Weird.
5. A ghostly presence
According to a team of physicists, three major mysteries of contemporary cosmology could be explained with one ghostly presence. After adjusting Einstein’s general theory of relativity, they found a strange substance, known as the “ghost condensate.” It produces repulsive gravity, which would have driven cosmic inflation during the big bang and later on it could generate dark energy. If this substance clumps together, it forms dark matter.
4. The Goldilocks universe
It’s something of a miracle that the universe has just the right properties compatible with the emergence of life. If things were just slightly off, we’d have no stars, matter or universe (or humans) within a split second. The anthropic principle could explain it – this theory rests on the idea that the universe has to be hospitable, or else we wouldn’t be here to observe it.
3. Forget sexually fluid, superfluid is the new it thing
One of the stranger theories on this list of the top 10 space theories that will make you gasp, is that space-time is actually a superfluid substance that moves through space with zero friction. If the universe was rotating, superfluid space-time would scatter with vortices, and those vortices would have birthed structures like galaxies. This one is definitely pretty out there though.
When matter is compressed in a black hole, it very well could bounce back and create a new, baby universe. The laws of physics might be different from its parent universe, so the universes might evolve. This could support the multiverse theory – as it would make sense that universes that have a lot of black holes, make a lot of other universes.
- Brane zaps
Is it possible that our universe is a membrane in a higher dimensional space, floating around and repeatedly banging into other universes? According to braneworld theory, this could be a thing. Neil Turok of Cambridge University, and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, worked out that the big bang could have occurred when our universe bashed violently into another.
To infinity, and beyond…?
Each one of the top 9 space theories that will make you gasp is arguably as mind-blowing as the next. There’s so much that we’ve yet to discover in space, and the vastness of the cosmos is genuinely terrifying at times. One thing’s certain – we still have a lot to learn, but technology can get us there.