“Is our universe extremely unnatural, a weird permutation among countless other possibilities, observed for no other reason than that its special conditions allowed life to arise, or, are the properties of the universe are inevitable, predictable, that is, ‘natural,’ locking together into a sensible pattern?” This is the question, the great unknown, that preoccupies theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J.
New findings by NANOGrav, the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves, could become the “discovery of the century” if the data has been generated by a network of giant filaments –cosmic strings–left over from the birth of the universe.
“In string theory,” writes physicist Michu Kaku, “all particles are vibrations on a tiny rubber band; physics is the harmonies on the string; chemistry is the melodies we play on vibrating strings; the universe is a symphony of strings, and the “Mind of God” is cosmic music resonating in 11 dimensional hyperspace.”
“The Universe becomes opaque to light once we look back to around a million years after its birth. This makes the fundamental question of ‘why are we here?’ difficult to answer,” says high-energy physicist Jeff Dror, postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, referring to a new study he co-authored, showing that gravitational waves could contain evidence to prove the theory that life survived the Big Bang because of a phase transition that allowed neutrino particles to reshuffle matter and anti-matter.
As Peter Woit, a theoretical mathematician at Columbia University says, string theory “is not even wrong” because it is not falsifiable –a basic tenet of all science theory. Now, Uppsala University researchers have devised yet another “new model” for the universe based on string theory – one with the added bonus they propose may solve the enigma of dark energy.
“The discovery of dark energy has greatly changed how we think about the laws of nature,” said Edward Witten, one of the world’s leading theorists at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.