That’s what a team of scientists argue, including Julian Barbour of the University of Oxford, Tim Koslowski of the University of New Brunswick and Flavio Mercati of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
This “mirror” universe would not be exactly the same as ours, though; it would have evolved and changed in its own way, completely separate to our own. However, it would be subject to the same laws of physics, so it would likely have planets, stars and galaxies just like in our version of the cosmos.
Explaining the model as a swarm of bees, Dr Barbour says that as time increases, the universe moves from an initial chaotic ‘swarm of bees’ to a more structured and ordered cosmos. ‘If you look at a simple model with a swarm of bees in the middle [the Big Bang] but breaking up in either direction, then you would say there are two arrows of time, pointing in opposite directions from the swarm of bees,’ he said. ‘If you define time as the direction in which order is increasing, you always get two arrows in opposite direction from the central chaotic region.’
However, he notes much more work needs to be done in looking at how time works. “This is opening up a completely new way to think about a fundamental problem, the nature of the arrow of time and the origin of the second law of thermodynamics.
“But really we’re just investigating a new aspect of Newton’s gravitation, which hadn’t been noticed before. Who knows what might flow from this with further work and elaboration?”