This week, news that NASA discovered a parallel universe where time runs backwards has been making the rounds on social media. While this sounds fantastical, that is because it is. Here is the true story behind the recent discovery.
It all began when the New Scientist published an article on some anomalous results coming from neutrino detection experiments in Antarctica, and what these could mean for a speculative cosmological model that posits there’s an antimatter universe extending backwards from the Big Bang.
According to Science Alert, these neutrinos have been spotted by the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) experiment – a high-altitude helium balloon with an array of radio antennas.
The neutrinos are hard to detect as they don’t interact with normal matter. This however is changed when they are produced by powerfully explosive objects in the Universe. In this case, they gain such ultra-high energies that they interact with normal matter.
The ANITA is designed to detect secondary particle showers as these high-energy neutrinos crash into the ice in Antarctica, after flying in from space. So, the ANITA detecting neutrinos themselves has puzzled scientists as they would expect them to have smashed into some other objects on their way across the universe.
While scientists are trying to figure out how this has occurred, the story was blown out of proportion.
“We have encountered a small number of anomalies in our data, and once we have exhausted all of the possible explanations within the Standard Model of physics, only then is it time to consider other ideas that push those boundaries – we are really not there yet, certainly not at the point where parallel universes are necessary!,”Peter Gorham, principal investigator of ANITA, told ScienceAlert