The Lambda-Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) mathematical model, explaining the Big Bang and its expansion, is our best guess at why the universe is expanding and accelerating… but it’s filled with plot holes. The biggest of these head-scratching problems is that, as its name suggests, the model relies on the existence of dark matter and dark energy—two theoretical concepts that have yet to be directly observed.

Because of these big unanswered questions within our “best guess” model, scientists have gone off in search of other explanations for the universe’s expansion that don’t rely on dark... well... anything. That’s created some theories that maybe our universe is eating baby universes, that the universe’s expansion is actually just a mirage of aging light, or that the groundbreaking theories of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein might need a rethink.

Now, Naman Kumar—a researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology—is putting forward yet another idea: that our universe is actually part of an entangled pair with another universe. Kumar published his idea in the journal Gravitation and Cosmology in April, and expounded on its complexities as part of the Science X Dialog series, where researchers share information about their work.

“In my work, I propose another model to explain the present accelerated expansion of the universe. Unlike existing models, this does not require any form of dark energy or modified gravity approaches,” Kumar wrote in a press release. “However, there is a price to pay: we need a partner anti-universe whose time flow is oppositely related to our universe.”

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