We may live in the universe, but there are still an infinite number of mysteries human have yet to solve about it. Who are we and how did we begin? Does life exist outside of Earth? Does our universe exist in a black hole? While the last query only started taking hold in 2010, it is an idea gaining steam thanks to Nikodem Popławski, a theoretical physicist at the University of New Haven.
Since the beginning of time, man has relied on faith and science to explain the origins of the universe and our lives on Earth. Today, scientific advances have allowed us to somewhat understand how the universe - and more specifically, how black holes work - but there is so much we still don't understand. Popławski's theory that our universe sits behind the event horizon of black hole is preposterous to some, but it gives a lot of credence to what know about black holes, singularity, and the beginnings of the universe.
Like a cosmic nesting doll, a universe may hold black holes with other universes inside them... endlessly. What's inside a black hole may not be a tiny, dense singularity, but rather, the end of a worm hole leading to an entirely different reality. It's a pretty big idea to wrap our heads around, but more and more evidence shows that it just might be true.
Black holes are inescapable regions in spacetime. For years, many believed anything sucked into a black hole by its strong gravitational pull would collapse, eventually folding into the black hole's singularity, or densest point.
While it is impossible to study what actually is in a black hole, Poplawski has an idea: what if our universe exists in a black hole inside of another universe?
Poplawski believes matter is carried via an Einstein-Rosen bridge, AKA a wormhole. According to Poplawski, the opening of a wormhole is a black hole, and on the other side is a "white hole." When the matter enters a black hole, it travels to a different time and space and is spit out through the white hole. The matter then expands to form another universe.
Some scientists believe the universe was formed from a speck of matter so small, dense, and finite, that it is beyond anything our minds can imagine. Many of them had accepted the idea of a singularity, or "god particle," as the origin of the universe, but had constantly struggled to defend and prove its existence. Poplawski's theory eliminates that idea.
Poplawski believes these points DO have a limit as to how small they can be compressed and how much they can weigh. In Poplawski's theory, there is no god particle or singularity. Like a snake nut can, anything that is tightly compressed reaches its limit; then there's a "bang" - maybe the very one that started our universe.
Before the Big Bang (or the Big Bounce, according to some physicists) there was said to be nothing. But how can everything come from nothing? According to Poplawski, it can't, which makes his theory even more plausible.
Poplawski theorizes this god particle - or the beginnings of our universe, no matter how big or small - came from matter from another universe sucked into a black hole. This matter traveled through the black hole and exploded into the beginnings of our universe when it came out the other side of spacetime.
Einstein's general relativity describes any and all events in the universe as occurring at one specific point in space and time. Theoretical physicists have long been grappling with combining the theory of relativity, which describes the universe on a larger scale, with quantum mechanics, a theory that examines the universe at its smallest levels, like the atom. By combining the two theories, theoretical physicists would be able to study "quantum gravity," which would help illuminate the mysteries behind certain phenomena, including what happens to matter once it enters a black hole.
While the original theory of general relativity does not support Poplawski's idea, an adaptation of Einstein's theory which takes into account the effects of quantum mechanics does. This adaptation, called the Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble theory of gravity, takes the important quantum property known as "spin" into account.
Atoms and electrons spin with "an internal angular momentum that is analogous to a skater spinning on ice," according to Poplawski.