The Complicated Science of Parallel Universes

Parallel universes.

If thre are multiple worlds out there almost identical to our own, how did they come into being? (Image: geralt via Pixabay)

When physicists talk about the universe, they don’t really mean the entire universe. They’re referring to the observable universe. And that’s not much. It’s just the part we’ve so far been able to see. When physicists talk about the multiverse or parallel universes, they are referring to distinct hypothesized models for the universe. These are all proposed theories, not facts confirmed through deduction. Let’s take a look at some theories on what constitutes parallel universes.

The models

Bubble Universes or Baby Black Hole Universes

There are other distant parts of the universe we will never be able to observe because they’re very far away from us. These universes could also be inside black holes. All the universes, according to this theory, have their own physical laws and exist as separate entities.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Membranes and extra dimensions

String theorists have been trying long and hard to figure out how many dimensions our universe has; they’ve not been successful yet. They have proposed another theory in which the space we consider our universe is actually a 3-dimensional surface, but it is part of a larger universe with 9 spatial dimensions. There could also exist numerous other 3-dimensional surfaces or “membranes.”

There is a lot that modern physicists do not understand about quantum mechanics. Using quantum mechanics, they’ve theorized that every time-space is real, and that they branch out in every possible way. That is, everything you could ever imagine is happening, but we wouldn’t know it because we are stuck in one reality, unable to access other realities.

Using quantum mechanics, modern physicists have theorized everything you could ever imagine is actually happening.
Using quantum mechanics, modern physicists have theorized everything you could ever imagine is actually happening. (Image: Screenshot via YouTube)

The observable universe contains approximately 1,090 particles with photons and neutrinos clumped together to form 2 trillion galaxies. Each galaxy comes with another trillion stars inside, which extends outside for 46 billion light-years. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe is constantly expanding, and this should make it possible for us to observe more galaxies as time goes by.

The argument against parallel universes

Astrophysicist Ethan Siegal believes there are limitations to the concept that space-time goes on forever. According to science, our universe is 14 billion years old. So the age is not infinite, which brings down the number of possibilities where the particles could rearrange themselves.

According to Mr. Siegal’s theory, the particle expansion that happened after the Big Bang has considerably slowed down, unlike in the beginning, when the expansion was happening at an exponential rate. This means the multiverses scattered across the universe could have distinct inflation rates, and so the possibility that another you living a similar life to your own could be almost impossible.

“Even setting aside issues that there may be an infinite number of possible values for fundamental constants, particles, and interactions, and even setting aside interpretation issues such as whether the many-worlds-interpretation actually describes our physical reality,” Siegal said in a Medium post. “The fact of the matter is that the number of possible outcomes rises so quickly — so much faster than merely exponentially — that unless inflation has been occurring for a truly infinite amount of time, there are no parallel universes identical to this one.”

Mr. Siegal says this in an optimistic fashion and asks his readers to live their lives because they are unique, and to treasure that fact.

Some believe that the only way to account for an infinite number of parallel universes is if the scope of time being discussed is also infinite.
Some believe that the only way to account for an infinite number of universes is if the scope of time being discussed is also infinite. (Image: via Pixabay)

Parallel universes as presented in science fiction

Parallel universes have been a staple in sci-fi. Given below are some works containing the theory of parallel universes.

  • Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott (1884)
  • Men Like Gods by H.G. Wells (1923)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (1950)
  • The Dark Tower by Stephen King (1982)
  • Back to the Future movie series (1985)
  • Stranger Things TV series (2016)
  • Anime: Digimon, Dragon Ball and Sonic the Hedgehog
  • DC and Marvel Universes

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

White radishes.

Foods to Keep Your Lungs Healthy in Winter

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated in Wuhan, is spreading fast. Apart from preventive measures ...

A black hole consuming its companion star.

Black Holes Eat Stars in Variable Mood Lighting

When a black hole chews up a star, it produces visible light or X-rays, but ...

A black hole near a red giant star.

Scientists May Have Just Discovered a New Class of Black Holes

Black holes are an important part of how astrophysicists make sense of the universe — ...

A young Chinese girl wearing a mask.

Liberation From the Wuhan Epidemic

The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic in mainland China is spreading across the land at an alarming ...

A patient with caronavius.

China Coronavirus Could Trigger Pandemic: Harvard Epidemiologist

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, a Harvard epidemiologist and health economist, has warned that the Chinese coronavirus ...

Chinese wearing masks.

How Is the Coronavirus Spreading Across the Globe?

The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United ...

Chiang Kai-shek.

How Formal Education in China Was Ruined by Communism

Before 1949, Chinese society, especially university education in China under the Republic of China, enjoyed ...

Dominic Barton.

Canada’s Ambassador to China Says Relations Chilled After Huawei Executive’s Arrest

Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China, recently testified before the special House of Commons committee ...

A young Chinese boy.

A Sordid Tale of Raising a Child in Communist China

Kirsty Needham is a journalist who works as the China correspondent for The Sydney Morning ...

Send this to a friend