It was winter time in Bangalore. Year 2028.
Dr. Kostov, a high energy physicist at IISc, returned very exhausted from his lab. It was already midnight. He needed rest. He lay down on his bed and soon, was fast asleep. But his dreams took an unprecedented turn. He could see protons colliding against each other and quarks being released. These quarks would collide with mysterious neutral particles of spin 3/4 to expose a portal which seemed like some wormhole. Dr. Kostov woke up with a jerk and tried to feel his pulse. He was excited and wondered, “What on Earth am I watching? What could the crazy idea be?” A particle of spin 3/4 is theoretically impossible. Was the dream some kind of a trash which his weary mind had produced? He decided to find out.
The next day, Dr. Kostov went for testing his visualized phenomenon on the Cray X-C40 supercomputer kept at the SERC at IISc. With the help of his collaborators, Dr. Shivshankar Sharma and Dr. Pinakpani Das, he made the computerised models. As soon as he pressed the button “Run”, his mind went blank. He was lost, lost in a sea of speculation and fantasy when his eyes glanced upon the computer screen. A wormhole had indeed been formed in the simulation. The other researchers were also quite stunned. Dr. Kostov assured them that he would find a suitable explanation for the phenomenon and walked away to his lab.
Back at the high energy physics lab, Dr. Kostov was trying hard to keep his drowsy self awake but ultimately, he gave in. Strangely, the same dream reappeared in his subconscious. This time he could see that the “mysterious” particle was constituted by smaller sub-elementary particles which were given off by quarks. He gain woke up and angrily told himself, “This kind of phenomenon literally contradicts all the basic conservation laws of physics.” He thought for a while and came up with an astounding hypothesis: According to it, all elementary particles in the Standard Model are nothing but individual universes with their own separate laws of physics. And sometimes, particles from those universes can leak into our universe and then act in a way contrary to our known laws of physics.
Dr. Kostov put down his hypothesis in his next research paper and quite surprisingly there were 500 citations on his paper, the highest ever in his career. Spurred by his success, Dr Kostov contacted the Director of CERN, Dr. Arjo K. Roy, stating that he wished to experimentally test his hypothesis on the LHC. Dr. Roy consented.
As a result, Dr. Kostov flew to Switzerland and made arrangements for testing the hypothesis. Thereafter with the help of Dr Roy, he subjected quarks to very high frequency electromagnetic radiations from all sides which was enough to break them down to sub-elementary particles. Dr. Roy and Dr. Kostov found that the sub elementary particles didn’t show any gravitational interactions. Further, the particles exhibited electromagnetic interactions but not in a way which Maxwell’s Equations predicted. Both the physicists unanimously concluded that those “sub elementary particles” were actually particles of a different universe, which had leaked into our own.
When Dr. Kostov expressed his wish to test the emergence of a wormhole, Dr. Roy said, “That will require a particle collider as large as the solar system.” But Dr Kostov was adamant. He said,”Earlier computers used to occupy whole rooms. But now, we even have nano-computers by our side. In the same manner we may be able to design a smaller particle collider which will produce energies of the order of 10^20 GeV. Now I think I have some idea on how to design such a collider.”
Dr. Kostov kept his word. On November 5, 2032, he contacted Dr. Roy again. He had made a particle collider which could fit in his own room but produce more than 10^20 GeV of energy. Dr. Roy was stunned by Dr Kostov’s ingenuity. They decided that if indeed, the wormhole shows up, they both will become the first humans to step on a different world point in space-time.
And on November 20, they succeeded in creating a wormhole in Dr Kostov’s room. They put on their spacesuits and went inside the wormhole. Coming to the other side of the wormhole, they found themselves in Dr. Kostov’s room itself.
Just then, Dr. Roy and Dr. Kostov caught sight of another Dr. Kostov – an exact replica, sitting at the table of the room. However, when they tried to touch him their hands literally passed through his body. Dr. Kostov sounded excited. “I think we have come to a mirror world of our universe. It is surprising to note that beings here cannot see us while we are able to see them and put our hands through them. Further, our bodies are still interacting with the inanimate objects of this universe, like the floor and the furniture but not with the living objects, like my replica here. Interesting!”
The door of the room was open and they both went out. The surroundings were all a replica of their own universe. Dr Roy measured the atmospheric composition and found it to be the same as that of earth. Having recorded their observations, the two scientists got back to the room, where the wormhole was stationed. But, to their surprise, the wormhole had disappeared!
Despair was slowly taking over Dr. Kostov. Dr Roy tried to console him. But there was no way out. They were trapped in the mirror universe.
The two researchers found it difficult to find food and shelter and sometimes they had to sleep on the just about anywhere, in any position because even the wall they wanted to lean on was virtual. Soon, they were on the point of being starved to death. Their bodies had become weak and all their hopes and desires were extinct.
One day, when Dr. Kostov was on his way to sneak into some house and steal food, he felt terribly drowsy and fell unconscious.
When he opened his eyes, he found himself in a multi-speciality clinic with Dr Roy sleeping on the bed next to his. About a minute later, a young girl of about 25 entered the ward. She introduced herself as the daughter of Dr. Kostov. “Father, you were careless about the exact time at which a wormhole connects two world points. That’s why you and Dr. Roy were trapped in the mirror universe. But we have been successful in rescuing you both by creating another wormhole. You are currently in year 2047.”
Dr. Kostov smiled. “This sounds like a sci fi story. But anyway, I would like to hand over my responsibilities to you. You must find more about space-time warps, wormhole and the multiverse. I will help you to further this research for the greater cause of humanity and science.” He continued, “We are striving to become a Type V civilization. And I want to see humans do that before I die.” The girl, Dr. Marianne nodded in affirmation. “Sure, dad. I promise to put my best efforts. But everything will be done with your and Dr Roy’s guidance.” Dr. Kostov said nothing and fell asleep.
Five years later, Dr. Roy and Dr. Kostov were jointly awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr Marianne, Dr Kostov’s daughter announced,” These two scientists have created history. Their discoveries will pave the path for finding the key secrets of the universe and preventing the annihilation of the human race.”
The two scientists received their greatest pleasure when Dr Marianne showed them a report stating that human beings had colonised a planet AD-400 in another universe and had even exploited the laws of physics there to create an 11 dimensional portal to connect earth and AD-400 for a period of 5000 earth-years, recounted by Dr. Kostov sitting in his chamber on 30 September, 3019.
The Saga of Science continued….