In the decades since its debut, the world of Star Trek has helped bring a slew of science fiction concepts and schools of thinking into the mainstream consciousness. According to a new report from NBC News, one of the franchise's more out-of-the-box concepts might have some grounding in reality. The report chronicles the work of physicist Leah Broussard, who is attempting to open a portal to a parallel universe.
Broussard is setting out to run experiments at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, which would theoretically result in finding some sort of "mirror matter". The project would, in a method that also sounds a bit like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse's particle accelerator, transport subatomic particles into a 50-foot tunnel, into a theoretically-impenetrable wall. Broussard argues that if the experiment goes correctly, parts of those particles should become the mirror-images of themselves, which would allow them to travel through the wall.
“It’s pretty wacky,” Broussard said of the experiment, which builds off of scientific studies that have been taking place since the 1990s. Part of the science behind it is thanks to the 1970s discovery of dark matter, which could possibly prove the existence of a mirror dimension.
“Dark people is probably a bit farfetched,” Broussard argued. “But dark matter is very likely as rich as our own matter. This kind of thing needs to be explored.”
Broussard believes that the "mirror world" would have its own laws of physics and history, and theoretically contain alternate versions of elemental objects. If this ends up being true, it would be the first actual proof that the universe exists beyond what is visible to us, which would subsequently change much of how we view physics and even life itself.
“If you discover something new like that, the game totally changes,” Broussard added.
For Star Trek fans, the existence of a mirror universe would surely be a surprising notion, as the parallel dimension has played a role on the franchise since the iconic Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror". The world went on to play a role in Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, and most recently on Star Trek: Discovery.
What do you think of Broussard's experiment? Do you think a mirror universe really exists in some form? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!