Cosmic Mysteries

Physicists have performed an experiment that suggests time in our Universe may be directed by gravity, not thermodynamics, and that the Big Bang could have created two parallel universes - our own, in which time runs forwards, and a mirror one where time runs backwards. Although the idea sounds pretty out there, the new hypothesis could help physicists solve some of their biggest issues with time - mainly the fact that they still can’t work out why it runs in only one direction.

If it’s true, it means that what we perceive as the future would really be the distant past for any life that exists in the parallel universe. "This two-futures situation would exhibit a single, chaotic past in both directions, meaning that there would be essentially two universes, one on either side of this central state," says Julian Barbour from the University of Oxford in the UK.

"If they were complicated enough, both sides could sustain observers who would perceive time going in opposite directions. Any intelligent beings there would define their arrow of time as moving away from this central state. They would think we now live in their deepest past." Even more mind-blowing is how Tim de Chant from PBS NOVA puts it: "From that perspective, maybe George Lucas’s Star Wars didn’t take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but in the far future - our deepest past - of our mirror universe."

Kemo D. 7

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