MELBOURNE, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A Big Freeze rather than a Big Bang may be how the universe began, theoretical physicists in Australia say, and they're looking for evidence of it.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University suggest the start of our universe was less an explosion and more like water freezing into ice.
Studying the cracks and crevices common to all crystals, including ice, could revolutionize our understanding of the nature of the universe, they said.
"Think of the early universe as being like a liquid," researcher James Quatch said in a University of Melbourne release Monday.
"Then as the universe cools, it 'crystalizes' into the three spatial and one time dimension that we see today.
"Theorized 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."
Some of these defects, or cracks, might be visible today, RMIT physicist Andrew Greentree said.
"Light and other particles would bend or reflect off such defects, and therefore in theory we should be able to detect these effects," he said.
The researchers have calculated some of these effects and say they could be experimentally verified.
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