The night sky above Earth blazes with the distant fierce fires of countless stars, and when we stare up at this magnificent spectacle of stellar fireworks, we cannot help but wonder how this show came to be. What scientists know now, or at least what they think they now know, is that the Universe was born about 13,800,000,000 years ago in the Big Bang, when it began as an exquisitely small Patch, much smaller than an elementary particle, and then–in the tiniest fraction of a second–expanded exponentially to reach macroscopic size. Something–we do not know what–made that tiny Patch experience this bizarre runaway inflation. Mysteries are enticing, singing a haunting sirens’ song to those who care to listen to its captivating melody. One of the best-kept secrets of the Cosmos involves a weird hypothetical elementary particle called a magnetic monopole. According to theory, these exotic magnetic monopoles should exist somewhere in the Universe–and yet not one solitary magnetic monopole has ever been found lurking anywhere in Spacetime.
If a bar magnet is cut in half, the outcome is a duo of smaller bar magnets–and each magnet sports its own south pole and north pole. But hypothetical magnetic