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Other Universes Finally Detectable?

New method might uncover "bruises" from run-ins with other universes.

The WMAP (pictured) charts the cosmic microwave background—a sort of baby picture of our universe.
Image courtesy WMAP/NASA

**Big as it is, our universe may be just one of many, all floating in a nearly unfathomable "multiverse," scientists say. Problem is, there's been no way to test the idea.

Now, though, physicists say they've devised a way to detect "bruises" from our cosmos's purported collisions with other universes.**

The international team has created a new computer algorithm to hunt for such irregularities in our universe, which they say would be disk-shaped—think of the temporary, circular flattening that happens when one beach ball bumps into another.

(Related: " Space Circles Are Proof of a Pre-Big Bang Universe?")

Because the multiverse would likely have expanded so fast that its universes would have been pulled far apart shortly after their creation, collisions would likely have occurred only during our universe's infancy.

Luckily, modern telescopes are able to study a sort of faint baby picture of the universe: the cosmic microwave background. The CMB is radiation emitted by the hot plasma that dominated the universe up until about 380,000 years after the big bang, which is thought to have occurred more than 13 billion years ago.

"For quite awhile, people have suspected there might be other bubble universes. But they thought this was completely untestable," said theoretical physicist Matthew Johnson of the Perimeter Institute.
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