Nasa discovers parallel universe where time runs backwards? Know the truth
parallel universe
Representation image of parallel universe. Photo: Shutterstock

Twitter and other social media platforms are abuzz with the so-called 'parallel universe' that Nasa has discovered. According to the claims, Nasa has detected a parallel universe in Antarctica, where time runs backwards. While this has certainly made a whole lot of people excited, in reality this is far from the truth.

What is a parallel universe?

In quantum mechanics, parallel universe is theorised as existing alongside our own, although undetectable.

How did the claims on Nasa's discovery of parallel universe come about?

The recent reports claiming that there is evidence of a parallel universe appear to be based on ANITA findings that are at least a couple of years old.

A science magazine had published a feature, discussing 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 BigBang.

The featured article was then 'curated' by some online media outlets, and the whole issue snowballed and became the talk of the town for the Twitterati.

What were the anomalous detections in Antarctica?

Four years ago, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) experiment — a high-altitude helium balloon with an array of radio antennas, partially funded by Nasa — had spotted a handful of instances of what seemed to be highly energetic neutrinos coming through the Earth. The telescope could spot these neutrinos coming from the space and hitting the ice sheet in Antarctica. ANITA detected these particles, but instead of coming from the space, the neutrinos were found to be coming from the Earth's surface without any source. These detections happened in 2016, then again in 2018, but there was no credible explanation.

Physicists have been working to figure out if these results can be explained with our current models of physics or have something to do with the experimental set-up itself, or if something like parallel universe does exist.

Scientists not ready to call parallel universe a discovery yet

Going by what the scientists have actually said, it's clear that these are exciting times for the astrophysicists trying to find an explanation and future experiments with more “exposure and sensitivity” will be required to get a clear understanding of the anomaly.

However, people wishing for a parallel universe will have to wait because the evidence is lacking and the scientists are not yet ready to call it a discovery.

What is a neutrino?

A neutrino is a subatomic particle very similar to an electron. But it has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be zero. Neutrinos are one of the most abundant particles in the universe. Because they have very little interaction with matter, they are incredibly difficult to detect.

Here are some Twitter reactions to the claims of parallel universe

Me: We looked at these ANITA events and they can't be standard neutrinos. They were probably a result of our imperfect understanding of the Antarctic ice, but there's a chance some new physics phenomenon is responsible. Tabloids: PARALLEL UNIVERSE!!!

— Ibrahim Safa (@IbrahimSafa1) May 21, 2020

I said this a few days ago but… NASA did not discover a parallel universe where time runs backwards. They discovered a parallel universe where the laws of physics are opposite to our own. Meteors don’t “crash” into the planet and instead appear to “leave” it

— ✨Juniper Darling✨ (@motherjuniper) May 22, 2020

few days ago, NASA revealed something about the parallel universe and look at this... do you think its a coincidence? i think tf not

— Arianators Wildin
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First Published: Sat, May 23 2020. 07:20 IST