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New Scientist: We may have spotted a parallel universe going backwards in time

NASA scientists have detected evidence of a parallel universe, right next to ours, where all the rules of physics seem to be operating in reverse.

A cosmic ray detection experiment has found particles that just could be from outside our universe.

NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) uses a giant balloon to haul delicate electronic antennas high into the cold dry air above Antarctica – where there is little or no radio noise to distort its findings.

There is a constant “wind’ of high energy particles coming from outer space – some of which are a million times more powerful than anything we can generate ourselves.

When the experiment returned to the ground after its first flight, it had nothing to show for itself, bar the odd flash of background noise. It was the same story after the second flight more than a year later.

While the balloon was in the sky for the third time, the researchers decided to go over the past data again, particularly those signals dismissed as noise. It was lucky they did. Examined more carefully, one signal seemed to be the signature of a high-energy particle. But it wasn’t what they were looking for. Moreover, it seemed impossible. Rather than bearing down from above, this particle was exploding out of the ground.

That strange finding was made in 2016. Since then, all sorts of suggestions rooted in known physics have been put forward to account for the perplexing signal, and all have been ruled out. What’s left is shocking in its implications. Explaining this signal requires the existence of a topsy-turvy universe created in the same big bang as our own and existing in parallel with it. In this mirror world, positive is negative, left is right and time runs backwards. It is perhaps the most mind-melting idea ever to have emerged from the Antarctic ice ­­– but it might just be true.

Low energy particles – neutrinos – can pass completely through the Earth, barely interacting with the substance of our planet at all. But higher energy objects are stopped by the reassuringly solid matter of the Earth.

That means that high energy particles can only be detected coming “down” from outer space. To detect a heavier particle – a tau neutrino – coming “up” out of the Earth would imply that these particles are actually travelling backwards in time.

And that is exactly what the ANITA scientists have seen.

The simplest – and therefore scientifically the most elegant explanation is this: at the moment of the Big Bang two universes were formed – ours, and another one that from our perspective is running in reverse.

Of course, if there were any inhabitants of this mirror universe, they’d see ours as the backwards one.

Sources: New Scientist, Daily Star

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