Has NASA Found A Parallel Universe ‘Where Time Flows Backwards?’ The Truth Behind The Headlines

(Jamie Carter) The internet has done it again. Today it abounds with stories from tabloids like the New York Post, Expressand the Daily Star—mostly quoting each other—that major on claims that NASA scientists have evidence that could prove the existence of parallel universes.

It’s all way overblown and misrepresents what the research in question is about. Scientists actually found evidence (signals) of fundamental particles that may defy our current understanding of physics. It might even just be an issue with how particles interact with ice.

To be clear, there is zero evidence of what the Daily Star says is “a parallel universe, right next to ours, where all the rules of physics seem to be operating in reverse.” 

Here’s what Ibrahim Safa of UW–Madison, who was a lead author on a research paper about the experiment in question in Antarctica, thinks about the current spate of “news” stories that associate his research with evidence for a parallel universe:

The many, many articles now online appear to be rooted in a six-week old story published by the New Scientist in which the admittedly alarming headline—We may have spotted a parallel universe going backwards in time—is backed-up by a well-written and thought-provoking article about some puzzling results from studies conducted in Antarctica of cosmic rays (high energy charged particles) arriving from outside Earth’s atmosphere. Along with some far-out “what if” musings about the hard-to-explain origins of these particles. Cue the parallel universe chat.

It’s all related to three scientific papers:

  • The original research paper from the ANtarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA)—a balloon-based experiment—that found “upward-pointing cosmic ray-like-events.”
  • A research paper published in response that posits that ANITA results could provide evidence for a “CPT symmetric universe,” where time would run backwards from the Big Bang and where antimatter would dominate. This is where the “parallel universe” claims come from since the paper reads: “In this scenario the universe before the Big Bang and the universe after the Big Bang is reinterpreted as a universe/anti-universe pair that is created from nothing.”
  • A research paper published in The Astrophysical Journal from the IceCube Neutrino Observatorythat suggests that we need to consider alternative explanations to explain the ANITA data.

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