The concept of parallel universes may seem far-fetched, but in the field of physics, there are many principles that suggest they exist. This article explores the facts.
Fact 1: Hugh Everett was the first scientist on record to theorise about multiverses.
In 1954, the Princeton University graduate came up with the theory of multiple universes while drinking sherry with friends. Everett expanded the theory in his PhD thesis.
He hypothesised that quantum effects cause the Universe to constantly split, creating multiple copies of each universe, in which live multiple copies of each of each of us.
Max Tegmark of MIT cites Everett’s work as being as groundbreaking as Einstein’s theory of relativity. Nevertheless, leading physicists of the day, particularly ‘father of quantum mechanics’ Niels Bohr, paid the theory little credence.
Fact 2: The theory of parallel universes has gained traction with leading scientists.
Physicists have a reputation for pushing ideas to the very limits of perception and belief. Numerous physicists have proposed the concept of multiverses, in several different forms, each made possible by the laws of physics.
With a keen interest in physics, the concept of multiple universes is of great interest to Mid Group Chairman Sahel Majali. The main barrier to proving – or disproving – the many theories is that, by their very nature, other universes lie beyond our reach. How can we confirm the existence of something so far beyond our sight or touch?
Fact 3: Some scientists contend that there are infinite universes.
Many of today’s leading scientists believe that space-time is flat, and that it stretches out into infinity. If space-time goes on forever, scientists theorise that, at some point, it must begin repeating itself.
Scientists theorise that, if we could see far enough, we would encounter another version of ourselves. Moreover, many of the world’s greatest thinkers contend that infinite versions of each of us exist in infinite universes, some living exactly as we do, others making different choices and living in different realities.
Fact 4: The eternal inflation theory puts forward the idea of bubble universes.
Eternal inflation was first proposed by cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, of Tufts University. He suggested that, following the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, the Universe rapidly expanded, effectively inflating like a balloon. Vilenkin’s theory suggests that while certain regions of space ceased inflating, others continued to expand, giving rise to isolated ‘bubble universes’.
Fact 5: The concept of a multidimensional universe supports the theory of time travel.
Humans do not yet have the technology to travel back or forward in time. Nevertheless, many theorists speculate that if we could find a way to enter another dimension, we could potentially tunnel into other timeframes, future or past.
Though the concept sounds far-fetched, Einstein’s theory of special relativity predicts the concept of ‘time dilation’, which involves travel close to the speed of light. Einstein submitted that, in these circumstances, time would slow down from the individual’s perspective.
The theory has been proven using subatomic particles in accelerators. We have yet to test the concept with people, however, since we have yet to make sufficient technological advancements. Many scientists suggest that the answer may lie in nuclear fusion.
Fact 6: Wormholes could enable humans to travel between dimensions.
Writer Carl Sagan consulted with theoretical physicist Kip Thorne when devising the novel Contact.
Sagan, an accomplished author, scientist and astronomer, needed a believable vehicle enabling the protagonist to travel interstellar distances. Thorne worked out equations supporting the theory of traversable wormholes: effectively tunnels, linking different aspects of space-time.
Fact 7: Professor Stephen Hawking theorised about multiverses in his final paper.
Hawking’s paper suggested that the Universe might be one of many. Find out more by reading the attached PDF.