American astrophysicists have recorded an unexplained cosmic event in Antarctica: an ultrahigh-energy neutrino, generally coming from space, would on the contrary have crossed the Antarctic ice. From this physical anomaly arose a large number of speculations, including the existence of a parallel universe where time would flow backwards. The scientists behind this discovery do not support it, however.
No, NASA has not discovered a clue to a parallel universe. Since April 8 and the publication of an article (paid) from New Scientist, a simple unexplained physical discovery has turned into a Pandora’s box of pseudo-scientific fantasies. The British science journal reflected on the latest findings from a group of astrophysicists from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa as part of an experimental program camped in Antarctica. The latter is devoted to the study of neutrinos – neutral cosmic elementary particles – of ultra-high energy through a myriad of radio antennas fixed on a helium balloon suspended 37 kilometers from the ground. The particles studied are very difficult to detect because they interact only very little with the other elements of matter in the universe. Sometimes very high energy neutrinos pass through the cosmos, like comets, and can be detected when, for example, they collide with thick ice like that of Antarctica. ANITA researchers (for “Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna”), only partially funded by the United States Aerospace Agency (NASA), recently detected an ultrahigh-energy neutrino that is believed to come not from space but from under Antarctica.
Too much imagination, not enough science?
This event, still unexplained on the part of scientists, then sparked all kinds of speculation, most of which completely shied away from conditional, according to Science Alert. One of them would have been based on the following hypothesis: some ultra-high energy neutrinos would behave “Upside down”, not in space, but in time. This simple hypothesis still not validated led to the interpretation according to which a parallel universe, mirror of ours and where time would flow backwards, would be superimposed on our universe. However, as Peter Gorham, researcher and director of the ANITA program, explained to Science Alert, “We have encountered a small number of anomalies in our data, but until we have exhausted all possible explanations from the standard physical model, we cannot risk ourselves beyond its limits.” In other words : “We are really far from considering the existence of parallel universes!” In science, never rush to conclusionsreminds the astrophysicist. These kind of crazy interpretations are “One of the reasons why scientific advances are first and foremost through a careful process of peer review, verification and reproduction.” In short, until the scientific community has agreed on a consensus regarding this strange discovery, let the parallel universes exist only in our imagination and pop culture.