While superheroes sit firmly in the realm of fantasy, a bonkers feature of the Marvel cinematic universe may actually prove real.
Scientists have proposed the existence of a ghostly “mirror dimension” such as that depicted in the Doctor Strange films.
In the movies — which stars Benedict Cumberbatch — reality-bending wizards use symmetrical spheres to hone their superpowers.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico believe that a similar alternate universe may be interacting with ours via gravity.
In a paper published last week, he argued that the theoretical dimension could be causing our world to behave strangely.
It has been introduced as a way to address problems with the Hubble constant – the rate at which the universe expands.
“This may provide a way to understand why there appears to be a discrepancy between different measurements of the expansion rate of the universe,” the researchers said in a statement about their findings.
Based on a large number of observations and theoretical work, scientists have concluded that the universe is expanding.
However, predictions of the rate of that expansion using the Standard Model are not consistent with astronomers’ observations.
Simply put, the universe is expanding at a slower rate than we expected – a question that has puzzled researchers for decades.
In their paper published May 18 in the journal Physical Review Letters, the scientists offered a bonkers explanation.
They say that an invisible universe, a kind of mirror world that we cannot see, but whose particles can interact with our universe, could explain the Hubble problem.
Should his outlandish view prove to be correct, it could explain how the universe is expanding faster than models predicted without increasing our understanding of the universe.
Mirror world theories have been around since the 90s, but have not been previously suggested as a solution to this problem, the scientists said.
“It may sound crazy at face value, but there is a huge physics literature in this kind of mirror world,” study co-author Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine said in the statement.
“Our work allows us, for the first time, to link this large literature to an important problem in cosmology.”
The theory is likely to prove controversial among scientists without further evidence to support their distant claims.
Researchers have previously suggested that the Hubble constant problem can be explained by crude or inaccurate measurements of the universe.
More precise measurements are expected to eliminate the problem in the future.
This story was originally published on The Sun and reproduced here with permission.