Stephen Hawking's final paper was just published - and it's mindblowing

5_2_Stephen Hawking

Hawkings final research paper supports existence of multiverse

The new work is the result of a collaboration with Thomas Hertog, who is a Belgian physicist at the Catholic University of Leuven.

Instead, the scientists developed a variation based on the string theory concept of holography, which proposes that the universe is a large and complex hologram.

But if the Big Bang were to birth an infinite number of possible universes, all with different laws of physics, majority would be hostile to the stable existence of the matter that makes up stars, planets and human beings - and of physics itself as we know it.

"The usual theory of eternal inflation predicts that globally our universe is like an infinite fractal, with a mosaic of different pocket universes separated by an inflating ocean", Hawking said past year.

In the new theory, eternal inflation is reduced to a timeless state defined on a spacial surface at the beginning of time.

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But now his final theory could be about to cement his place in the 21st century as it suggests that our universe may be one of many universes, but that unlike other suggestions, they all might be quite similar to our own.

According to the theory, if the energy of eternal inflation existed before the Big Bang, then it might not have been entirely spent in our universe alone.

Prof Hawking was always troubled by this idea, which at a fundamental level can not be reconciled with Einstein's theory of General Relativity. He says these ripples in space-time might carry subtle hints that could help physicists determine which theories about the Big Bang are more likely - but we'll need the right tools to find them.

"However, the dynamics of eternal inflation wipes out the separation between classical and quantum physics", he continued.

A pre-printed copy of the Hawking's paperwork called "A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?" has been around for several months. "Now we're saying that there is a boundary in our past", Hertog said.

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"Stephen himself said that this work was the area he was most proud of", Malcolm Perry, a colleague of Hawking's, tells the Guardian.

"When we track the evolution of our universe backward in time, at some point we reach the threshold of eternal inflation, where our familiar notion of time ceases to make sense", explains Hertog.

The theory, in short, explains that the universe is a lot more simple and finite when compared to what many existing theories on the big bang say, notes a report by the University of Cambridge.

"We are not down to a single, unique universe", said Hawking, "but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse, to a much smaller range of possible universes".

Stephen Hawking died on 14 March, at age 76, at his home in Cambridge. His ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton in November.

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S.W. Hawking and Thomas Hertog.

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