Two weeks before his death, Stephen Hawking submitted the final revision of his last scientific paper. On it is a theory that explains how mankind may detect parallel universes.
Hawking's Last Scientific Paper
The paper entitled "A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation," could be the theoretical physicist's most important legacy to science as it set out the groundbreaking mathematics that can help detect traces of multiple big bangs.
The paper aims to resolve an issue brought up by Hawking's 1983 "no-boundary" theory, which described how the universe was brought into existence with the big bang. It also predicted an infinite number of big bangs that each created its own universe.
Proving The Multiverse Theory
The multiverse theory suggests the existence of other universes other than our own, but the idea presented a mathematical paradox because it seems impossible to measure.
The new papers proposed the mathematics needed by deep-space probes to collect evidence that can prove the existence of many universes. The theoretical work suggested that evidence of the multiverse is measurable in background radiation that dates back to the beginning of time, and spacecraft with the right sensors onboard can measure this.
Thomas Hertog, from KU Leuven University in Belgium, who worked with Hawking on this theory and cowrote the paper that is currently being reviewed by a leading scientific journal, said that the work aims to transform the idea of the multiverse in a scientific framework that can be tested.
Black Holes As Portals To Other Universes
Many scientists consider the multiverse theory to explain some observed phenomena in the cosmos.
In 2015, a Caltech cosmetologist suggested that a strange glow at the edge of the Milky Way could be proof of a parallel universe. Researchers of a 2017 study likewise suggested that the so-called 'Cold Spot' in space could be the result of a collision between our universe and another universe.
The existence of multiple universes has not yet been proven, but Hawking's last paper may pave way to the discovery of evidence of the multiverse. Hawking did not dismiss the fantastical idea of wormholes depicted in sci-fi movies, where black holes serve as portals to other universes.
"Things can get out of a black hole, both to the outside, and possibly, to another universe," Hawking said in a 2008 lecture in Chile. "So, if you feel you are in a black hole, don't give up. There's a way out."
Hawking died on Wednesday, March 14, in Cambridge, England at the age of 76.