I gather that the World Science Festival here in New York a week or so ago was a great success, although I was out of town for most of it. The one part of the program I was dubious about (Infinite Worlds) seems to have come off even more one-sided than planned, since David Gross couldn’t be there.
There’s a report on this at Ars Technica from someone who was sitting near Cameron Diaz while watching the program. Philosopher of science Nick Bostrom did point out the obvious, that for the multiverse to be science it has to predict something. Someone seems to have convinced the author of the piece that there actually is such a prediction:
Early in our Universe’s history (before the mulitiverse’s inflation pulled things apart), it was possible that the Universe bumped into a neighboring one. If that’s the case, there should be remnants of that event buried in the cosmic microwave background. Less than a month from now, the ESA’s Planck mission should arrive at the L2 Lagrange point with instruments sensitive enough to pick up this signal.
So, I guess in a couple years from now, we’ll know if there is a multiverse or not…
For another report, see here.
Sean Carroll reports here on some other parts of the festival, including the panel on Time Since Einstein, where he explained to the audience that “the fact that an a splattered egg cannot turn back into a pristine unbroken egg is the best evidence we have that we live in a multiverse.”