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What might stars be like in other universes? In realms where the force behind radioactive decay is stronger or weaker than in our cosmos, scientists now find that such star systems might often be habitable places for life as we know it.

The laws of physics in our universe include a number of fundamental constants, such as the speed of light. However, many scientific models allow for the existence of a vast ensemble of universes called the multiverse, which might include places where the laws of physics differ.

Many researchers have previously suggested that sufficiently large variations in the laws of physics would result in lifeless universes, so that only small differences in the fundamental constants would be permitted. To examine this idea further, astrophysicists examined universes where nuclear forces might differ and speculated on the potential habitability of these alternate places. [5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse]

"We don't know if other universes exist, and if they do, we almost certainly can't observe them," study lead author Alex Howe, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, told Space.com. Still, "by doing this thought experiment, we are helping to answer a fundamental question — did our universe have to be the way it is, or why did it have to be? In doing so, we learn more about our own universe," Howe said.

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