Top 10: Weirdest cosmology theories
12:14 04 September 2006 by Stephen Battersby
Cosmology is one of the most creative and bizarre areas of science. Explore some of the strangest ideas in this exclusive feature
1. Clashing branes
Could our universe be a membrane floating in higher dimensional space, repeatedly smashing into a neighbouring universe? According to an offshoot of string theory called braneworld, there are large extra dimensions of space, and while gravity can reach out into them, we are confined to our own "brane" universe with only three dimensions. Neil Turok of Cambridge University in the UK and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University in New Jersey, US, have worked out how the big bang could have been sparked when our universe clashed violently with another. These clashes repeat, producing a new big bang every now and then - so if the cyclic universe model is right, the cosmos could be immortal. [Read more] ...