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New Parallel Universe Theory Reveals an Alternate Reality Where Time Moves Backwards

First Posted: Jan 08, 2015 09:29 AM EST

Physicists have proposed a new parallel universe theory that will boggle your mind. At the moment the Big Bang occurred, a "mirror universe" to our own was created that moves in the opposite direction through time; this means that intelligent beings in one universe would perceive the other to be moving backward through time.

"Time is a mystery," said Julian Barbour of College Farm in the UK in an interview with MailOnline. "Basically, all of the known laws of physics look exactly the same whichever way time runs, and in the world in which we live everything goes in one direction."

All of the equations that best describe our universe actually work perfectly if time flows backward or forward, according to Business Insider. However, we experience time as it flies forward. The universe expands rather than contracts, and we grow old rather than young.

For more than a century, the standard explanation for "time's arrow" has been that it is an emergent property of thermodynamics, as first laid out in the work of Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, according to Business Insider. What we perceive as the forward march of time is really just the inexorable rearrangement of highly ordered states into random, useless configurations. In other words, things fall apart over time.

In fact, at the end of the 19th century, this caused concern. People believed that the universe would eventually end in a "heat death" where the temperature in the universe was the same everywhere. But when gravity is taken into account, the theory no longer holds true, according to MailOnline.

Now, researchers have constructed a new theory. They studied a computer simulation of 1,000 point-like particles interacting under the influence of Newtonian gravity. They looked at the dynamic behavior of the system using a measure of its "complexity," which corresponded to the ratio of the distance between the system's closest pair of particles and the distance between the most widely separated particle pair, according to Scientific American.

The researchers found that essentially every configuration of particles would evolve into a low-complexity state, which is roughly analogous to the Big Bang, according to Business Insider. This means that the force of gravity sets the stage for the system's expansion and the origin of time's arrow. More interesting, as you move backwards through time to disorder, you eventually come out the other side after the Big Bang into order again--a mirror universe.

"If you look at a simple model with a swarm of bees in the middle [of the Big Bang] but breaking up in either direction, then you would say there are two arrows of time, pointing in opposite directions from the swarm of bees," said Barbour in an interview with MailOnline. "One arrow would be forwards, and one backwards."

The findings propose an interesting new theory when it comes to our universe. That said, it's likely the controversy over time will continue.

The findings are published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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