3-torus: Scientists calculate the unexpected shape of the Universe

For decades, scientists have been discussing how our universe formed, given the complex parameters of space and time. Is it a simple open space, or does it twist like a torus, or does it represent something else, even stranger?

Illustration of a 3-torus

A new study from the COMPACT Collaboration consortium of cosmologists, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, has shown that the topology of the Universe, that is, the shape of its geometry, is most likely so complex that it is even difficult to imagine. 

Researchers have studied the cosmic microwave background of the Universe — the constant “glow” of the cosmos, which arose from ancient radiation at the dawn of time. Although they have not determined the specific topology of the universe, the background radiation data does not exclude the possibility of exotic shapes. Perhaps we live in something like an endless hall of mirrors.

Illustration of a 3-torus when an observer sees the back of his own head

The central theme of the article is the shape known as a 3-torus. The American Physical Society (APS) explains in the annotation to the article that it looks like a cube in which each pair of opposite faces is connected. Scientists describe this effect as a “hall of mirrors”, where the lines of sight inside the 3-torus form closed loops that return to the observer, creating the impression of endless repetition. Thus, regardless of the size of the universe, if you look deep into it, you can eventually see the back of your head.

All this concerns only possible scenarios so far, and not the real picture. Therefore, researchers try to find a topological fingerprint in the cosmic background radiation in order to give a more accurate answer. 

Earlier, we reported that a powerful cosmic gravity malfunction was detected in the universe.

According to aps.org

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