Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?

Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?

TypeTheta (October 4, 2022) Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?. Retrieved from https://typetheta.com/2022/07/did-ornl-open-a-portal-to-a-parallel-universe/.
"Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?." TypeTheta - October 4, 2022, https://typetheta.com/2022/07/did-ornl-open-a-portal-to-a-parallel-universe/
TypeTheta July 30, 2022 Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?., viewed October 4, 2022,<https://typetheta.com/2022/07/did-ornl-open-a-portal-to-a-parallel-universe/>
TypeTheta - Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?. [Internet]. [Accessed October 4, 2022]. Available from: https://typetheta.com/2022/07/did-ornl-open-a-portal-to-a-parallel-universe/
"Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?." TypeTheta - Accessed October 4, 2022. https://typetheta.com/2022/07/did-ornl-open-a-portal-to-a-parallel-universe/
"Did ORNL Open a Portal to a Parallel Universe?." TypeTheta [Online]. Available: https://typetheta.com/2022/07/did-ornl-open-a-portal-to-a-parallel-universe/. [Accessed: October 4, 2022]
+ posts

My name is Kayleigh Cecil and I am a recent graduate of Stevenson University. I majored in Medical Laboratory Science but would like to move into the science writing industry. I have always had a passion for science and would like to share my knowledge with others online. My main interests are biology, astronomy, and physics.

Opening a portal to a parallel universe sounds like an experiment that would happen in a science fiction book or movie. Scientists have searched for signs of parallel or mirror universes, but never tried to open a portal to any of them. In physics, parallel universes are hypothetical realities in which events happen differently than they do in our own universe. 

The Science of Parallel Universes

The scientific theory of parallel universes, known as the many-worlds theory, sprung from the fact that an electron (a negatively charged subatomic particle) can occupy multiple places in space at once. In each universe, the electron is in a different place in space. 

On the macroscopic level of everyday life, this could imply that in a parallel universe, your place in spacetime right now could be different from what it is right now in our universe. In physics, your location in both space and time is considered an event. A different location in spacetime is a different event. For example, you might be at work right now in this universe, but in a parallel universe, you might be at home. If parallel universes exist, then there is possibly an infinite amount of universes with infinite copies of you. 

A Portal to a Parallel Universe?

In late June 2022, a rumor spread online that physicists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee were trying to open a portal to a parallel universe. Articles online claimed that the scientists had actually managed to open a portal. Is this true? Have scientists actually opened a portal to a parallel universe for the first time? 

Unfortunately, the scientists at ORNL confirmed that this was just a rumor and that they weren’t trying to open a portal to another universe at all. Instead, they were trying to find out how ordinary matter (which only makes up a tiny percent of our universe) interacts with dark matter (which makes up most of our universe). When they said that they were trying to open a portal, they didn’t mean a literal portal. In the physics community, scientists use the word “portal” figuratively. What the scientists really meant was that they were trying to open a figurative “portal” between the realms of ordinary matter and dark matter.

What REALLY Happened at ORNL

The physicists at ORNL were trying to observe dark matter by sending neutrons (uncharged subatomic particles of ordinary matter) through a wall that should block ordinary matter. If the neutrons passed through the wall, then the physicists would know that they were turning into mirror neutrons, or the dark matter version of neutrons. This type of dark matter, which is the counterpart to ordinary matter, is called mirror matter or shadow matter.

The physicists were trying to observe these interactions so they could get a better understanding of the subatomic particles in our universe. Scientists know almost nothing about dark matter because it’s so hard to observe and they can’t detect it with any current technologies. A better understanding of dark matter would help scientists better understand how our universe formed. There could also be many interesting applications of the interactions between ordinary matter and dark matter. No one knows right now exactly what those applications could be.

The ORNL Parallel Universe Isn’t Real, But Parallel Universes Might Still Exist

Although it may be disappointing that scientists didn’t actually open a portal to a parallel universe, dark matter is still a very interesting topic in physics. Dark matter is completely different from anything we know, so different that no energy on the electromagnetic spectrum can be used to detect it. Invisible matter that is still part of our universe may be less interesting to the people who thought ORNL discovered a mirror universe like the Upside Down in the Stranger Things TV series. However, the many-worlds theory still holds scientific credibility, even if scientists haven’t yet proven that parallel universes exist. So, who knows? Places like the Upside Down could exist somewhere. We just haven’t found them yet.

+ posts

My name is Kayleigh Cecil and I am a recent graduate of Stevenson University. I majored in Medical Laboratory Science but would like to move into the science writing industry. I have always had a passion for science and would like to share my knowledge with others online. My main interests are biology, astronomy, and physics.