This week a report from ANITA (maintained by NASA) showed results of a study that’ve subsequently been skewed beyond sense. This is largely due to a single report that was partially blocked behind a paywall. Because a great many news sources used this article on the original report, instead of seeking out the original report, they had to assume that what was visible to the public was the whole story – and it most certainly is not.
Information from the public side of the article at New Scientist suggested that “we may have spotted a parallel universe going backward in time.” The report also suggests that “strange particles observed by an experiment in Antarctica could be evidence of an alternate reality where everything is upside down.”
In reality, things aren’t quite so cut-and-dry. IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory revealed that they’d ruled out the last Standard Model explanation of ANITA’s anomalous neutrino events back in January of this year. “Our analysis ruled out the only remaining Standard Model astrophysical explanation of the anomalous ANITA events,” said Alex Pizzuto of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “So now, if these events are real and not just due to oddities in the detector, then they could be pointing to physics beyond the Standard Model.”
A report filed in January can be found under title A search for IceCube events in the direction of ANITA neutrino candidates was submitted in January and updated in April of this year (2020). It’s there that you’ll find quantifiable data about what’s been found in Antarctica. They suggest that what’s found isn’t explained by the Standard Model of physics, so something else must be true.
While the idea that what was found COULD be evidence of a paralell universe, “there’s nothing that necessarily makes it a detection of a parallel universe,” said Pat Scott, astroparticle phenomenologist with the University of Queensland via CNET.
If we take a peek at the report from Physical Review Letters with title “Coherent Transition Radiation from the Geomagnetically Induced Current in Cosmic-Ray Air Showers: Implications for the Anomalous Events Observed by ANITA” posted back in August of 2019, we see another explination. In that report, “weird features” of Antarctic ice are shown to distort signals of cosmic rays, as noted by AJ Pizzuto.
Another primary source of confusion came from working with the term “universe-anti-universe pair”* and the fact that time reversal doesn’t mean we’re literally MOVING BACK IN TIME. The folks at PBS Space Time explain that bit best in the video below – cool stuff!
*There’s a report that was first submitted back in March of 2018 and revised on the 11th of April, 2018, which works with ANITA events “as evidence of the CPT symmetric universe.” It’s very, very strange, and has to do with dark matter, right-handed neutrinos, and … “atypical dark matter density distribution in the Earth.” See the report Upgoing ANITA events as evidence of the CPT symmetric universe as authored by Luis A. Anchordoqui, Vernon Barger, John G. Learned, Danny Marfatia, and Thomas J. Weiler.