21st Aug 2012 2:21pm | By Editor
A (what's the collective noun for scientists? virgin?)
virgin group of scientists from the University of Melbourne have proposed an alternative theory to the Big Bang, the leading theory of how the universe started.
The physicists suggest that as opposed to a singularity of matter exploding we should visualise the start of the universe as water freezing into ice.
"Think of the early universe as being like a liquid, said James Quach, the project's lead researcher.
"Then as the universe cools, it crystallises into the three spatial and one time dimension that we see today.
"Theorised this way, as the universe cools, we would expect that cracks should form, similar to the way cracks are formed when water freezes into ice."
The theory, in its infancy, doesn't explain phenomena such as red shift, evidence which suggests that galaxies are moving apart, and the universe is growing.
"Albert Einstein assumed that space and time were continuous and flowed smoothly, but we now believe that this assumption may not be valid at very small scales," said Quach.
"A new theory, known as Quantum Graphity, suggests that space may be made up of indivisible building blocks, like tiny atoms. These indivisible blocks can be thought about as similar to pixels that make up an image on a screen.
"The challenge has been that these building blocks of space are very small, and so impossible to see directly."
They plan to test their theory by tracing light bounced off these supposed cracks in space.
Well, that's crystal clear then. A crystal buried under 10 feet of mud.
Image via Getty