Alien life could exist in other universes, according to a group of scientists studying a mysterious force known as dark energy.
Previous theories suggested our universe has the perfect amount of dark energy, which acts against gravity and is making the cosmos expand at an accelerated rate.
It was understood that any more would create such rapid expansion that stars and planets wouldn’t have time to form.
The multiverse theory, first put forward in the ’80s, said there was a “luckily small” amount of the force in our universe.
But researchers at Durham University in England claim these celestial bodies would still have formed even if a universe had 100 times the dark energy that ours does.
They used giant computer simulations to suggest that, if other universes exist, they may be just as likely to harbor life.
“The formation of stars in a universe is a battle between the attraction of gravity and the repulsion of dark energy,” said professor Richard Bower of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology.
“We have found in our simulations that universes with much more dark energy than ours can happily form stars. So why such a paltry amount of dark energy in our universe?
“I think we should be looking for a new law of physics to explain this strange property of our universe and the Multiverse theory does little to rescue physicists’ discomfort.”
Their findings are published in two related papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
And their simulations were created using the EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of Galaxies and their Environments) project – one of the most realistic programs mapping the observed universe.
The dark energy conundrum has plagued scientists for years, said Jaime Salcido, a postgraduate student of Durham University.
He added: “Our simulations show that even if there was much more dark energy or even very little in the universe then it would only have a minimal effect on star and planet formation.”
The widely accepted eternal inflation theory claims our universe came into existence with a brief burst that saw the universe expand at a rapid pace.
Some suggested this meant that, in some regions, the universe is still expanding and will continue to grow infinitely.
In doing so, it creates multiverses: an endless supply of universes much like our own, populated with Earth-like planets, societies and even individuals that resemble us.
Also published on Medium.