An artistic impression of a black hole
We’re all familiar with the Big Bang theory, the one that states that the universe exploded out of a single, dense point. But there’s a major question tied up in the Big Bang that the known laws of physics can’t explain: what was the nothing that came before everything? Some cosmologists have taken this unknown start to the universe in a different direction and suggested a brand new model for our universe. Instead of a Big Bang, our universe was formed from debris ejected when a four-dimensional star collapsed into a black hole.
The Big Bang, which surfaced in the late 1920s in the work of physicist Georges LeMaître and received a big boost in the 1960s through measurements of the cosmic microwave background, does offer explanations to some of the phenomena we see in the cosmos. Namely the fact that space is expanding. But it leaves other questions unanswered. The Big Bang doesn’t explain why such a violent event could have yielded a universe so uniform in temperature. The most common explanation is that some unknown energy made the young universe expand faster than the speed of light, which would have allowed a small patch with a uniform temperature to stretch out and that’s the cosmos we live in and see.
But the main problem with the Big Bang model is that nothing can explain what happened the moment that single point went bang, which leaves explanations about a uniform temperature largely in the realm of speculation. As Niayesh Afshordi, an astrophysicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, puts it, “For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity.”
But an entirely different model might solve all these problems. With this question in mind, Afshordi and his colleagues turned to a 2000 study that states the three-dimensional universe is a membrane that floats through a ‘bulk universe’ made of four spatial dimensions.