PureInsight | November 18, 2002
U.S. astronomers recently released many new hypotheses regarding formation of the universe. Among them is the concept of the "multiverse," which expostulates that there were consecutive "bangs" after the "Big Bang" which formed innumerable universes.
Why does our space have three dimensions and not two, ten or twenty-five? Why is the speed of light so much faster the speed of sound? Why is an atom so much smaller than a planet? Why is our universe so old? Do other universes exist? These are a few of the questions that scientists are currently asking.
About a century ago, scientists believed that the entire universe included just the stars and nebulae in the Milky Way. Nowadays, astronomers know that countless galaxies exist beyond the Milky Way. According to astronomical observations, undetectable "dark energy" accounts for two-thirds of the total matter-energy in the cosmos.
Some cosmologists propose that universes expand in a geometric progression, sprouting from each other or smaller universes hatch inside black holes. Other scientists believe that universes are floating around in nothing and sometimes collide in a fifth dimension. Dr. Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the University of Pennsylvania, proposes at least four different universes. Dr. Joseph Polchinski, from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California in Santa Barbara, speculates that there could be 1060 different solutions to the basic string equation, making it more likely that our universe is one of several cosmological combinations friendly to human life.
Based on modern particle physics, Dr. Alan Guth, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has proposed the theory of inflation. This theory asserts that when the universe was less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second old, it underwent a brief hyperexplosive growth spurt fueled by an antigravitational force embedded in space itself. Dr. Guth and various other theorists, including Dr. Andrei Linde of Stanford University, Dr. Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University and Dr. Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, have suggested that once inflation starts anywhere, it will keep happening over and over again, spawning an endless chain of universes.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2002/11/2/19089.html