One of the greatest mysteries in the universe is dark matter, which represents five times more matter than ordinary matter. At least, that is the ratio in our universe. An outlandish new theory suggests our physical reality may be attached at the hip to a parallel, mirror-image universe with inverse quantities of matter to dark matter.
The stunning theory is meant to resolve a seemingly intractable conundrum: one of the most pervasive substances in the universe—and that which binds galaxies together and makes it possible for life to exist—can’t be explained by modern physics. There is no shortage of scientists claiming to have theoretical explanations for dark matter, though, and now physicist Leah Broussard and her team of researchers are offering a mind-boggling solution to the question that doubles-down on the mystery: our universe is connected to a mirror-image alternate universe with its own molecules, galaxies, and life forms.
The theory resulted from new experiments with neutrinos that seem to suggest some particles can phase back and forth between our universe and the mirror-image universe. This could explain the anomalous neutron decay rate, which does not seem to produce as many protons as it should. Broussard posits that the reason for this violation of parity and symmetry is that 1 in 100 neutrons is being shared with the mirror universe.
The concept of dark matter producing its own parallel universe—which may contain its own dark matter life forms—is not new, but for the first time researchers will conduct an experiment that could offer proof.
Broussard says she plans to conduct an experiment that will involve firing high-speed neutrons at an “impenetrable” wall and measuring if any of them phase through. If the experiments produce evidence of a parallel universe, according to Broussard, “The implications would be astounding,” and could offer explanations of anti-matter, dark matter—which could be a gravitational force spilling over from the mirror universe—and the ever-elusive question of whether there are alternate universes.
However, such a mirror-universe would be different from many other depictions of alternate universes—including the type 1 multiverse, which is essentially just an endless universe where configurations of matter inevitably get repeated. It may even be different than a type 2 bubble multiverse, although Broussard describes it in similar terms, “It would form a bubble of reality nestling within the fabric of space and time alongside our own familiar universe, with some particles capable of switching between the two.”
This would suggest that universes may be inextricably interwoven, their realities and particles intertwined. It makes one wonder: What else might we be sharing with our mirror-universe? What else crosses over?