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A Multiverse—where our Universe is only one of many—might not be as inhospitable to life as previously thought, according to new research.
Questions about whether other universes might exist as part of a larger Multiverse, and if they could harbour life, are burning issues in modern cosmology.
Research - Durham - University - UK - Australia
Now new research led by Durham University, UK, and Australia's University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and the University of Western Australia, has shown that life could potentially be common throughout the Multiverse, if it exists.
The key to this, the researchers say, is dark energy, a mysterious "force" that is accelerating the expansion of the Universe.
Scientists - Theories - Origin - Universe - Energy
Scientists say that current theories of the origin of the Universe predict much more dark energy in our Universe than is observed. Adding larger amounts would cause such a rapid expansion that it would dilute matter before any stars, planets or life could form.
The Multiverse theory, introduced in the 1980s, can explain the "luckily small" amount of dark energy in our Universe that enabled it to host life, among many universes that could not.
Computer - Simulations - Cosmos - Research - Energy
Using huge computer simulations of the cosmos, the new research has found that adding dark energy, up to a few hundred times the amount observed in our Universe, would actually have a modest impact upon star and planet formation.
This opens up the prospect that life could be possible throughout a wider range of other universes, if they exist, the researchers said.
Findings - Papers - Journal - Monthly - Notices
The findings are to be published in two related papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The simulations were produced under the EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) project—one of the most realistic simulations of the observed Universe.
Jaime - Salcido - Student - Durham - University
Jaime Salcido, a postgraduate student in Durham University's Institute for Computational Cosmology, said: "For many physicists, the unexplained but seemingly special amount of dark...
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