The universe is a mysterious place. We don’t know why it exists, and how there are so many unanswered questions about it. But what if it was intentionally created by an intelligent entity? Is there any way that we can find out?
In 2005, a pair of physicists proposed that if there were a creator, they could encode a message in the background radiation of the universe, when light was scattered as it flowed freely through space in the first place. This light is called cosmic microwave background (CMB).
Now, astronomers Michael Hippek and Breakthrough Listen at the Sonnenberg Observatory in Germany have traced the message, translating it into a binary bitstream of temperature change in the CMB.
What he has recovered seems completely meaningless.
The paper describing Hippack’s methods and results has been uploaded to the pre-print server RXIV, (and has not yet been peer-reviewed); The work includes extracted bitstreams so that other interested parties can study it for themselves.
The cosmic microwave background is an incredibly useful resort in the early universe. This is about 380,000 years after the Big Bang. Before that, the universe was completely dark and opaque, so hot and dense that it could not form atoms; Protons and electrons were flying around in the form of ionized plasma.
As the universe cools and expands, prot protons and electrons can combine to form neutral hydrogen atoms, which we call the age of reconstruction. The space has become clearer, and the light can move freely through the first.
This first light is still recognizable today, albeit very ignorantly, making all familiar places difficult. That is CMB. Since the universe was not uniform at first, density variations in the CMB temperature fluctuated very slightly in the pre-reconstitution era.
Because of this ubiquity, Stephen Hu, a theoretical physicist at the University of Oregon, and Anthony G., a Santa Barbara at the University of California, argued – entirely theoretically – that the CMB would create a perfect billboard with a message that would be visible to everyone in the universe.
As they wrote in the 2006 paper, “Our work does not in any way support the movement of intelligent design,” but they ask, and try to answer, the complete scientific question of what the medium and the message might be if there really was a message. “
They suggested that a binary message could be encoded with a change in temperature in the CMB. Hippie tried to find it – first addressing Su and G’s claims and then using data to try and find a message.
“[Hsu and Zee’s] The assumptions were, first, that some evolving universe was being created. Second, the Creator actually wanted to let us know that the universe was created on purpose, “wrote Hippie.
“Then, the question is: how will they send a message? CMBE is the obvious choice, because it is the largest billboard in the sky, and visible to all technological civilizations. The CMBE will be identical to all observers throughout space and time (Thousands of bits).
Hippies have been found with these claims, there are several problems. The first is that the CMB is still cooling. It started at about 3,000 Kelvin; Now, 13.4 billion years later, it is 2.7 Kelvin. As the universe continues to age, CMB will eventually become exploratory. This could take another 10 duodecillion years (10)40), But the CMB will fade.
Excluding this, physicists, in response to Hu & G’s 2006 study, found that CMBs were unlikely to appear to different observers in exactly the same places in the sky. Hippoc also has the argument that we can’t see the whole CMB because of the foreground emissions from the Milky Way. And there is only one sky for our measurement, which we present an innate statistical uncertainty in every cosmic observation.
Based on these limitations, Hippie estimates that the data content will be much lower than what Su and G proposed – only 1000 bits. This gave him a better framework for the actual search for the message.
Both the Planck Satellite and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) monitored and recorded temperature fluctuations in the CMB. It was from these datasets that Hippie extracted its bitstream, comparing search results with matching bits with each dataset.
The first 500 bits of the message are illustrated below. The black values were the same in both the Planck and WMAP datasets and were considered accurate with 90 percent probability. Value of red deviation; Hippie Planck chose the values and they are correct with a 60 percent probability.
By changing the values he got, the situation did not improve. Searching the on-line encyclopedia of integer sequences did not yield any credible results, nor did it move the data towards approximate future.
Hippie writes, “I don’t get any meaningful message in the actual bit-stream.
“We can conclude that there is no clear message in the CMB sky, yet it remains unclear whether there was a creator, whether we live in simulation, or whether the message was printed correctly in the previous section, but we failed to understand it.”
Whether or not any of these options exist, we at CMB have much more to say, as was nicely mentioned in the 2005 response to Su and G.
“The CMB encodes a lot about the structure of the sky universe and possibly the nature of physics at high energy levels,” wrote Douglas Scott and James Jibin, physicists at the University of British Columbia.
“The universe has left a message of our own.”
The hippocampus paper can be read in its entirety in RXIV.