Countless science-fiction and fantasy books and movies delve into the intriguing concept of parallel universes. The idea behind them probably began with the words: ‘what if…’
What if the world as we know it is not the only one in existence?
What if there are universes similar to ours that can support life?
What if they had technology more advanced than we can ever imagine?
What if they already found our planet?
What if they are already among us?
The Study of Alternate Worlds
The basic concept of parallel universes comes from the multiverse theories that physicists have been toying with for decades.
The conception of a world that hover just above ours was proposed by Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. The idea is the possibility of many dimensions to our world.
Brian Greene, a physicist from the Columbia University, describes the notion as “our universe is one of potentially numerous ‘slabs’ floating in a higher-dimensional space, much like a slice of bread within a grander cosmic loaf.”
This idea has been a mainstay for physicists who attempt to explain gravity, quantum mechanics, and other incomprehensible aspects of nature. For instance, Hugh Everett’s “many worlds” explanation of quantum mechanics is a legitimatized theory in physics.
“However, most people should be skeptical of multiverse theories because there is no evidence supporting their existence,” states Greene.
Everett, a physicist in the 50s and 60s, determined whenever a person “measures” something in this universe, like you glance at your shoes and note whether they had dirt on them or not, two separate realities branch from that.
“The universe winds up branching into many copies of itself,” said Bill Poirier, a quantum chemist, and physicist at Texas Tech University. He declares that these separated pathways can never interact.
Recently, Poirier described The Many Interacting Worlds Theory, which contrasted his first. The major difference is that the worlds “talk” to each other. There are no branching universes like in Everett’s conception.
So you could have a wicked double in an alternate world, but a person cannot split into two. Also, although the worlds interact, there can never be any transport between them.
Imagine a stack of pancakes. The more similar universes are positioned closer together in this stack, while the dramatically different ones are farther apart.
Any difference significant enough to be noticeable to the naked eye means the universes is considerably distant from one another. Therefore one could never travel between the two.
“A few objects moved a tiny bit – on the nanoscale – from each other. Those are the worlds that can actually talk to each other and interact,” said Poirier.
There are so many theories from physicists they are comparable to the number of branching universes in Everett’s concept of “many-worlds.”
That’s amazing except for one vital problem: There is not evidence that they exist. Yet. Until then, novelists, movie producers, and theorists have something to fantasize about.
“I’m hugely skeptical of all multiverse proposals, as should be everyone else on planet Earth,” states Greene. “Having said that, I think the idea is tremendously exciting.”
This article was written by The Hearty Soul. The Hearty Soul is a rapidly growing community dedicated to helping you discover your most healthy, balanced, and natural life.
Tia Ghose. ‘Stranger Things’: How Realistic Are Parallel Worlds? http://www.livescience.com/55883-stranger-things-science-of-parallel-worlds.html (Aug 25, 2016)
Clara Moskowitz. Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse http://www.livescience.com/25335-multiple-universes-5-theories.html (Dec 7, 2012)