Stephen Hawking is a man who needs no introduction. His legendary work as a cosmologist has been something that nobody could ignore, no matter how far out of the industry you belonged. This past week, Stephen Hawking finally succumbed to his disease at the age of 76. Ever one full of surprises, Hawking was only supposed to survive 5 years with his condition — diagnosed as a young adult, Hawking left a final paper for his fans and colleagues to comb through after his passing. That paper, Hawking’s final work, is focused on how to detect and probe the Multiverse.
Hawking had been working on a research paper regarding the multiverse for a while titled, ‘A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation’. Hawking was the lead author on the paper in collaboration with Thomas Hertog, a profession fro KU Leuven University which is located in Belgium. Just ten days prior to Hawking’s death, Hertog had submitted a revision of the research paper for additional analysis. The title of the paper is in reference to how space-time had to have expanded in the very first moments of the Big Bang, which is the leading theory as to how the universe came into existence. There are many researchers, of which Hawking was one, that believed the initial Big Bang happened across many different universes with the possibility of infinite universes being in consideration.
Carlos Frenk is a professor at Durham University, located in England, and he also studies cosmology. Frenk had many thoughts regarding the paper saying, “These ideas offer the breathtaking prospect of finding evidence for the existence of other universes.” Frenk has bought into the ideas presented by Hawking’s paper but that doesn’t mean that everyone else has.
Despite Hawking’s accepted genius, there are still some individuals within the field that are pushing back against his concepts. Neil Turok, director of Theoretical Physics for the Perimeter Institute, was among the most noted naysayers. Still, Hawking’s paper will surely be closely analyzed in the coming years.