You might want to think that our universe is the only one that has ever existed, but the truth is a little more unsettling.
Some physicists believe that there were other universes that existed before ours. Whether this is a Doctor Who kind of regeneration or total annihilation and rebirth is questionable, but what physicist and former Stephen Hawking colleague Roger Penrose and his team now argue is that these dead universes were filled with dead black holes—and if you really look at Cosmic Microwave Background data, their phantoms will appear.
Black holes are the corpses of stars, but more like star zombies that keep decomposing over time. For every positive graviton or photon that is released into space from the surface of a black hole’s event horizon, a negative particle (meaning negative mass and energy) falls backward to that point of no return beyond the event horizon. Negative particles cancel out mass and energy that had previously been devoured by that black hole. This phenomenon of positive particles radiating from a black hole and being replaced by negative particles, slowly eating away at the cosmic monster, is Hawking Radiation.
After all black holes disintegrate, they would theoretically leave a universe full of gravitons and photons that don’t experience space and time as we know it because they have no mass and shoot around at light speed. Penrose believes that a universe devoid of black holes will start to mirror the extreme compression of our universe when the Big Bang exploded. There are no such things as distance or time in that moment, but there is something even this violent outburst can’t obliterate.
"It's not the black hole's singularity but the… entire Hawking radiation of the hole throughout its history,” Penrose told Live Science.
What Penrose and his team observed in the CMB data they analyzed were not actual remnants of the black holes that supposedly vanished billions and billions of years ago, but evidence of their existence and the universe’s past life. Eons of wasting away from Hawking radiation leave a mark in cosmic radiation background frequencies. Think of it as a fossilized imprint. Whatever left it behind has long since decayed, but there is no denying it actually existed.
While making out these imprints in the hazy CMB radiation involved ruling out potential false positives and was obviously much more painstaking than just confirming the existence of a trilobite with the naked eye, the conclusion was ultimately that spectrums of Hawking radiation had been left behind by black holes now lost to space.
There is still skepticism surrounding this theory, especially since it comes from the same guy who is convinced that consciousness is the result of quantum computing, but you have to admit it is kind of mind-blowing to think that dead universes have forever left an “I was here” in the sky.
(via Live Science)