Antarctic experiment results suggests a parallel universe exists


Reya Mehta, Staff Writer

   When people think “parallel universe,” the picture that most likely comes to mind is a twisted mirror image right out of a science fiction novel: one where personalities could be flipped, or where everything is the opposite of what it seems. They think that the closest these theories can come to reality is through a show like “The Flash.”

   But an experiment from years ago almost suggests otherwise.

   In 2006, ANITA-1 was launched in Antarctica. Led by Peter Gorham, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna experiment, or ANITA for short, used antennas to observe the interaction of high-energy particles from space with the Antarctic ice sheet. 

   According to an article by University of Hawaii Professor Peter Gorham, one of the purposes of the experiment was to “constrain the origin of the highest energy particles in the universe.” By using helium to rise to a high enough elevation in a “radio quiet environment,” they hoped to study these particles, known as neutrinos. 

   Another goal of the project, stated on the ANITA project proposal, was to “test fundamental laws of high energy physics & astrophysics.” This objective seems to be the one that paid off in the end.

   After a month of being in the sky, ANITA-I returned with little more than background noise. ANITA-II and ANITA-III, launched in 2008 and 2009 respectively, had the same results.

   In 2016, ANITA-IV was launched. In the month-long duration that the balloon was in the sky, Gorham’s team reviewed the results previously thought to have been background noise. The team found that they had detected a high energy particle, with a twist. Instead of raining down from space, the signal was beaming out of Earth.

   As of right now, humanity’s understanding of physics says that this is impossible, unless there was some otherworldly explanation for the direction these particles were heading.

   This led to the theory of the parallel universe going backward in time, though it is unclear exactly who posed it. The mind-bending theory proposed that 13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang created two universes. The other universe would have to be dominated by antimatter, as it moved backward from the Big Bang. 

   However, this theory is just that: a theory. There is no solid evidence at this point to prove such a thing. 

   In an interview with ScienceAlert, Gorham said that they had “encountered a small number of anomalies in [their] data” and they are “certainly not at the point where parallel universes are necessary.”

   As much as we may want to believe that a parallel universe exists, such an idea is not plausible at the moment. Give it another 20 years – maybe then, we’ll explore the idea of the multiverse.