A group of scientists studying a mysterious force known as dark energy claim that alien life could exist in other universes.
Theories regarding dark energy that have been proposed previously suggest that our universe has the ‘perfect amount’ of dark energy – a force which acts against gravity and is responsible for making the cosmos expand at an accelerated rate.
It was generally understood that any more presence of dark matter than the amount present in our universe would create such rapid expansion that stars and planets wouldn’t be able to form – but scientists at Durham University claim that it might not be so simple, and that alien life may be possible as a result.
The research team claims that the stars and planets would still have time to form even if the universe had 100times the dark energy that ours does – increasing the likelihood that alien life could exist outside of our own universe.
In order to arrive at this conclusion, the research team used giant computer simulations that ended up suggesting that if other universes exists they would be equally likely to harbor life.
Professor Richard Bower of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology stated that “The formation of stars in a universe is a battle between the attraction of gravity and the repulsion of dark energy.”
“We have found in our simulations that universes with much more dark energy than ours can happily form stars. So why such a paltry amount of dark energy in our universe?”
“I think we should be looking for a new law of physics to explain this strange property of our Universe, and the multiverse theory does little to rescue physicists’ discomfort.”
The findings of the research team have been published in two related papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
As mentioned above, the team managed to arrive at these conclusions using a sophisticated computer simulation – specifically the EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of Galaxies and their Environments) projects. The simulation is widely recognized as one of the most realistic programs that has mapped the known universe.
The matter of dark energy has been a hot topic among scientists for quite some time, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that we don’t have a solid grasp on how it functions – a fact reinforced by the fact that we might have been wrong about the limitations of the energy all around.
The main theory regarding dark energy asserts that our universe was created with a brief burst that allowed it to expand at a rapid pace. This suggests that in some regions the universe is still expanding and will continue to grow indefinitely.
The fact that the universe continues to expand means that it creates multiverses: an essentially endless supply of universes much like our own. These universes would be populated with Earthlike planets, societies, and perhaps even alien life that is quite like ourselves.
Overall, it’s clear that our understanding of dark energy is lacking. Science was generally convinced that the energy had to be present in very particular quantities in order to support life.but the simulation seems to prove that that’s not entirely true.
The search for alien life has long been a priority for many scientists and enthusiasts alike, and the fact that this alien life is quite likely to exist outside of our universe is comforting in a way. However, the likelihood that we’d even be able to expand beyond our own universe is extremely low – leading many to hope that we’ll eventually discover alien life a little closer to home.
While the Trump administration has generally considered cutting a lot of NASA’s budget, they have earmarked a certain amount of funds specifically for searching for intelligent alien life. This recent research proves that it may be possible to find alien life after all – leaving many optimistic that at some point we will, indeed, find that we’re not alone after all.
It’s not likely that we’ll be able to look beyond our own universe in search of alien life, but this new knowledge about dark energy may adjust how we approach the search in the future. There aren’t many immediate applications of the knowledge at this point in time, but as we advance in technology we may finally have the tools to put these findings to the test.
Until that point, we’ll likely have to be content with the knowledge that these multiverses may very well harbor alien life with little way to prove it. It’s always exciting, however, when an accepted part of science is questioned or even outright disproven – as might be the case with this new study.