WHILE superheroes sit firmly in the realm of fiction, one bonkers feature of the Marvel cinematic universe may in fact prove to be real.
Scientists have proposed the existence of a ghostly “mirror dimension” like the one featured in the Doctor Strange films.
In the movies – which star Benedict Cumberbatch – reality-bending wizards use the symmetrical realm to hone their superpowers.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico believe that a similar alternate universe may be interacting with our own via gravity.
In a paper published last week, they argued that the theoretical dimension could be causing our world to behave in strange ways.
It’s been pitched as a way to explain away problems with the Hubble Constant – the rate at which the cosmos expands.
“This might provide a way to understand why there appears to be a discrepancy between different measurements of the Universe’s expansion rate,” researchers said in a statement about their findings.
Based on a large number of observations and theoretical work, scientists have concluded that the universe is expanding.
However, predictions of the rate of that expansion using standard models does not line up with astronomers’ observations.
Put simply, the universe is expanding slower than we expect it to – a quandary that has stumped researchers for decades.
In their paper published May 18 in the journal Physical Review Letters, scientists pose a bonkers explanation.
They say that an invisible universe, a kind of mirror world that we cannot see, but whose particles can interact with our universe, could explain the Hubble problem.
Should their outlandish idea prove correct, it could explain how the universe is expanding faster than models predict – without upending our understanding of the cosmos.
Mirror world theories have been around since the ’90s but have not been suggested as a solution to this problem before, scientists said.
“This might seem crazy at face value, but such mirror worlds have a large physics literature,” study co-author Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine said in the statement.
“Our work allows us to link, for the first time, this large literature to an important problem in cosmology.”
The theory is likely to prove controversial among scientists without further evidence to support its far-fetched claims.
Researchers have previously suggested that the Hubble Constant problem can be explained by crude or inaccurate measurements of the cosmos.
More accurate measurements in future are expected to eliminate the problem.
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