HOW did our universe start? That is among the many most profound questions of all, and you’d be forgiven for considering it’s unattainable to reply. However Laura Mersini-Houghton says she has cracked it. A cosmologist on the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she was born and raised underneath communist dictatorship in Albania, the place her father was thought-about ideologically against the regime and exiled. She later gained a Fulbright scholarship to check within the US, forging a profession in cosmology by which she has tackled the origins of the universe – and made a unprecedented proposal.
Mersini-Houghton’s large concept is that the universe in its earliest moments could be understood as a quantum wave perform – a mathematical description of a haze of potentialities – that gave rise to many numerous universes in addition to our personal. She has additionally made predictions about how different universes would depart an imprint upon our personal. These concepts have been controversial, with some physicists arguing that her predictions are invalid. However Mersini-Houghton argues that they’ve been confirmed by observations of the radiation left over from the massive bang, generally known as the cosmic microwave background.
Right here, she tells New Scientist about her concepts and her life, which she has described in her new ebook Earlier than the Huge Bang: The origins of our universe within the multiverse.
Rowan Hooper: Let’s begin with your personal story of rising up in Albania. To what extent has that formed your considering?
Laura Mersini-Houghton: It’s contributed a lot. I used to be fortunate as a result of I had the form of mother and father who noticed early on that I used to be involved in …