Are neutrons traveling between parallel worlds?
Recent experiments at ultra-cold temperatures have shown a phenomenon known as “neutron loss,” in which we somehow lose track of these subatomic particles for short periods. This probably has a mundane explanation…but just for fun, here’s an awesomely insane explanation.
The idea put forward by Zurab Berezhiani and Fabrizio Nesti, a pair of theoretical physicists at Italy’s University of l’Aquila, is that these neutrons have mirror particle twins that exist in some sort of parallel world. Any neutron could theoretically transition from one world to the other, swapping places with its mirror particle twin – which would be invisible to us, explaining why we seem to “lose” the neutrons – and then returning in a period lasting anywhere from a few seconds to ten minutes.
It’s definitely an out there hypothesis, but Berezhiani and Nesti point out that it can’t be ruled out by what we currently know experimentally. Of course, that’s a pretty weak argument in and of itself, but there do seem to be a few pieces of evidence that support their idea – and, even better, there might be a way to test the hypothesis experimentally.