The renowned physicist's last theory, published this week in the Journal of High Energy Physics, contends that, while there may be multiple universes, the reality of these alternate universes may be closer to our own than has been previously proposed.
Stephen Hawking's final research paper has just been published and within a very short time it has become a must-talk topic among science lovers across the globe.
Next, its co-author, the Belgian physicist Thomas Hertog, is the one who should be vigilant with regard to the observational proofs either in favor or in opposition to Hawking's "Final Theory". The pair's theory is sophisticated (and quite speculative) but not all that hard to explain.
"It is a deeper understanding of where the laws of physics that we test in our labs come from". Right now, physicists generally think that when the universe first started expanding after the Big Bang, there was a brief moment when it ballooned in size rapidly - in other words, inflated - and then slowed down.
In their paper named "A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation" the physicists suggest that the universe is "globally finite and reasonably smooth". They say our universe just happens to be one of the manifestations where the laws of physics allow for stars, galaxies, planets and life. In an interview previous year he said: "I have never been a fan of the multiverse".
The new assessment of the Hartle-Hawking theory in the latest paper has restored order to a hitherto chaotic multiverse.
Many scientists claim that the universes may be endlessly nurturing each other, building a practically infinite set of fractal probabilities.More news: Sharks fall in OT after scintillating third-period comeback
Hawking and Hertog build their case on string theory, as a means to reconcile relativity and quantum physics.
Prof Hawking was always troubled by this idea, which at a fundamental level can not be reconciled with Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
"It was never said between us that this would be the last paper". The theory was revisited and updated with more powerful mathematical techniques used in string theory, where reality is described through the interaction of one-dimensional objects called cosmic strings.
The paper presents a variation of the holographic principle to deal with the time dimension of eternal inflation, reducing it to a timeless state defined on a spatial surface at the beginning of time.
"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.
"This paper takes one step towards explaining that mysterious fine tuning", Hertog said.
Hertog told Cambridge that the physics that would account for infinite parallel universes break down when applied to the theory of eternal inflation.