Early last year, astronomers announced they had detected the waves – or ripples in space – for the first time, confirming Albert Einstein’s 100 year old theory.
The implication of the detection has been huge, with it opening up many different realms in the world of physics.
Now, researchers are claiming that they could use the discovery of gravitational waves to confirm or disprove whether we are in a multiverse.
The multiverse theory dictates that our universe is part of a bigger system, surrounded by other universes.
Are we part of a multiverse?
As gravity is almost certain to be a consistent through all dimensions and universes, researchers believe that they could use gravitational waves to detect parallel universes.
Gustavo Lucena Gómez at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, Germany, told New Scientist: “If there are extra dimensions in the universe, then gravitational waves can walk along any dimension, even the extra dimensions.”
Gravitational waves could help physicists detect a multiverse
By calculating how extra dimensions would affect gravitational waves, Mr Lucena Gómez and his colleague David Andriot found that there are extra waves at higher frequencies and a difference in how gravitational waves stretch space.
Mr Lucena Gómez said: “If extra dimensions are in our universe, this would stretch or shrink space-time in a different way that standard gravitational waves would never do.”
“If there are extra dimensions … then gravitational waves can walk along any dimension"
Extra dimensions would also allow spacetime to shape-shift in what is known as breathing mode – the same way your lungs contract and expand as you breathe.
However, the technology is not currently available to detect this.
Mr Lucena Gómez: With more detectors we will be able to see whether this breathing mode is happening.”
Amazing Hubble Space Images
Mon, March 27, 2017
These stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope are taken from the April 2015 issue of National Geographic Magazine.
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Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7653, which is an emission nebula located 11 000 light-years away
Dr Emilian Dudas, from the Ecole Polytechnique in France told New Scientist: “Extra dimensions have been discussed for a long time from different points of view.
“Gravitational waves could be a new twist on looking for extra dimensions.”