by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
According to a recent NBC report, “At Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, physicist Leah Broussard is trying to open a portal to a parallel universe.” Here are the details:
In a series of experiments she plans to run at Oak Ridge this summer, Broussard will send a beam of subatomic particles down a 50-foot tunnel, past a powerful magnet and into an impenetrable wall. If the setup is just right — and if the universe cooperates — some of those particles will transform into mirror-image versions of themselves, allowing them to tunnel right through the wall. And if that happens, Broussard will have uncovered the first evidence of a mirror world right alongside our own.
“It’s pretty wacky,” Broussard says of her mind-bending exploration.
The mirror world, assuming it exists, would have its own laws of mirror-physics and its own mirror-history. … [C]urrent theory allows that you might find mirror atoms and mirror rocks, maybe even mirror planets and stars. Collectively, they could form an entire shadow world, just as real as our own but almost completely cut off from us. …
Oak Ridge has an 85-megawatt nuclear reactor that can shoot out billions of neutrons on demand, so getting enough raw material to work with isn’t an issue. The hard part is figuring out how to make some of the neutrons cross over into the mirror world, and then prove to her skeptical colleagues (and to her skeptical self) that it really happened.
I wish Ms. Broussard luck, but it’s still kind of worrying. I’m not sure I’m ready to meet a mirror version of myself!