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When physicists translated a 13th-century Latin text into modern equations, they discovered that the English theologian who wrote it had unwittingly predicted the idea of the multiverse in 1225. While the work probably won’t advance current models, it does show that some of the philosophical conundrums posed by cosmology are surprisingly pervasive.

In particular, Tom McLeish, a physicist at Durham University, UK, and his colleagues applied modern mathematics to a 1225 treatise on light, De luce, written by medieval philosopher Robert Grosseteste. Grosseteste had been studying the recently rediscovered works of Aristotle, which explained the motion of the stars by embedding Earth in a series of nine concentric celestial spheres. In De luce, Grosseteste proposed that the concentric universe began with a flash of light, which pushed everything outwards from a tiny point into a big sphere.

Grosseteste assumed that light and matter are coupled together. When the initial pulse of expanding light-matter reached a minimum density, it entered what he called a perfect state and stopped expanding. This perfect sphere then emitted a different form of light called lumen, which propagated inwards and swept up lingering “imperfect” matter, compressing it like a snow plough. The less dense region of light-matter left behind could then reach its perfect state and crystallise into a new sphere embedded in the first one, which would emit its own lumen. This process continued until only a core of imperfect matter was left behind, which gave rise to Earth.

Crunching the numbers, McLeish’s team found that computer models of this process will yield exactly the sort of universe Grosseteste was describing: inwardly propagating concentric spheres. (1)

What seems new, is old.
What seems innovative is unoriginal.
What seems clever is just a copy-cat.

It’s not only light and matter which are interconnected (brilliant idea by the way). It’s reality, light and matter which are all interconnected with our ideas!

Did it occur to you that the only thing which separates Big Bang from Eternal Universe is you?
Don’t you know you ARE the center of the universe?

Have you forgotten you are God?

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