Universe’s Structure Similar to Human Brain and Internet

December 11, 2012 Updated: April 2, 2013


The universe may develop according to similar as yet unknown laws that control the growth of other complex networks like the human brain and the Internet.

Using a supercomputer and other calculations, an international research team found that the causal network representing space-time is a graph that looks like other systems, such as social or biological networks. 

“By no means do we claim that the universe is a global brain or a computer,” said study co-author Dmitri Krioukov at the University of California-San Diego in a press release.

“But the discovered equivalence between the growth of the universe and complex networks strongly suggests that unexpectedly similar laws govern the dynamics of these very different complex systems.”

Krioukov believes this pattern is not a coincidence.

“Of course it could be, but the probability of such a coincidence is extremely low,” he said. “Coincidences in physics are extremely rare, and almost never happen.”

“There is always an explanation, which may be not immediately obvious.” 

The results are important for cosmology and network science.

“Such an explanation could one day lead to a discovery of common fundamental laws whose two different consequences or limiting regimes are the laws of gravity (Einstein’s equations in general relativity) describing the dynamics of the universe, and some yet-unknown equations describing the dynamics of complex networks,” said study co-author Marián Boguñá at Spain’s Universitat de Barcelona in the release.

The findings were published in Nature’s Scientific Reports on Nov. 16.

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