The multiverse concept emerged as one of the more favored—or at least frequently talked about—theories for the strange tidiness of the early cosmos. “If you accept the idea that this might be only one of many possible universes, then that makes it more plausible,” Mersini-Houghton says. Universes that started out more chaotic might not have survived or evolved to support intelligent life. So one-way time—and our entire existence, for that matter—could be just a happenstance.
Several attendees said that understanding time is vital to helping them answer other fundamental questions, including what happens at the center of a singularity and whether cosmic inflation could one day reverse, causing the universe to collapse. And the growing cosmological data allow physicists to make predictions about the nature of time and the early universe that could soon be tested through new observations. “We can see a lot more than we could before, and that means we can be a bit more daring,” Mersini-Houghton says. It’s about time.
This article was originally published with the title Making Space for Time.