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Stephen Hawking's Final Paper: Not A Fan Of The Multiverse
According to the last paper published by Stephen Hawking — titled “A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?" — the universe is simpler than previously imagined. Hawking and co-author Thomas Hertog describe a reality in which the observable universe emerged from a larger, unobservable universe dictated by eternal inflation.
Much like popular explanations of multiple iterations of characters in comic books, theorists suggest the possibility of infinite universes – the multiverse. However, the theory isn’t as simple as in comics, since these multiverses likely have different rules of physics, and their own, smaller-scale inflation might still be occurring.
The paper produced by Hawking and Hertog suggests the possibility of a limited number of universes in our multiverse and that the start of the present universe is finite. "We are not down to a single, unique universe," said Hawking, "but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse, to a much smaller range of possible universes."