Parallel Worlds: Fact or Fiction?

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As fun and compelling as this idea It's certainly wishful thinking to believe so. But for that to actually be our physical reality, those unknowns about our Universe need to have specific answers that may not be very likely.

First off, the inflationary state that preceded the Big Bang must have lasted for not just a long time, but a truly infinite amount of time. That's a gargantuan number. But if it's not bigger than the number of possible outcomes, it isn't big enough to contain the possibilities that the notion of parallel Universes would necessitate. The multiverse idea states that there are very large numbers of Universes like our own out there, But in order for the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics to be physically real, there must be a place i.

We can quantify the odds by taking 10 90 particles and giving them We then have to ask how many possible outcomes there are given the laws of quantum physics and the rate of particle interactions. If you tried to calculate Bubble chamber tracks from Fermilab, revealing the charge, mass, energy and momentum of the Although there are only a few dozen particles whose tracks are shown here, there are already an astronomically large number of possible outcomes that could have resulted from the interactions of the particles shown here over the fraction-of-a-second that their interactions were recorded.

The number of possible quantum outcomes rises much faster, in any system, than we're used to from large numbers. It's true: both numbers go to infinity. The number of possible parallel Universes tends to infinity, but does so at a particular exponential rate, but the number of possible quantum outcomes for a Universe like ours also tends to infinity, and does so much more quickly.

What this means is that, unless inflation has been occurring for a truly infinite amount of time, there are no parallel Universes out there identical to this one. The number of possible outcomes from particles interacting with each other increases faster than even the number of possible Universes arising from inflation; even an inflating multiverse isn't large enough to hold the parallel Universes you'd need for the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics to put all of its alternate timelines. While many independent Universes are predicted to be created in an inflating spacetime, inflation This is where the scientific motivation for a Multiverse comes from, and why no two Universes will ever collide.

There simply aren't enough Universes created by inflation to hold every possible quantum outcome owing to the interactions of particles within an individual Universe. Although we cannot prove whether inflation went on for an infinite duration or not, there is a theorem that demonstrates that inflationary spacetimes cannot be extrapolated back for arbitrary amounts of time; they have no beginning if so, and are called past-timelike-incomplete.

Inflation may give us an enormously huge number of Universes that reside within a greater multiverse, but there simply aren't enough of them to create an alternate, parallel you.

4 Responses to “Parallel Universes: Fact or Science Fiction?”

The number of possible outcomes simply increases too fast for even an inflationary Universe to contain them all. In all the multiverse, there is likely only one you. You must make this Universe count, as there is no alternate version of you. Take the dream job. Stand up for yourself. Navigate through the difficulties with no regrets, and go all-out every day of your life. There is no other Universe where this version of you exists, and no future awaiting you other than the one you live into reality.

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Make it count. Let's assume that the Universe inflated — i. I have won numerous awards for science writing s Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin. Wikipedia user Pablo Carlos Budassi. Colvin, annotated by E. Feild STScI. Famously, physicist's Stephen Hawking's last paper before his death also dealt with the multiverse. The paper was published in May , just a few months after Hawking's demise.

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About the theory, he told Cambridge University in an interview published in The Washington Post , "We are not down to a single, unique universe, but our findings imply a significant reduction of the multiverse to a much smaller range of possible universes. Parallel universe theories suggest their are infinite Earth's out there, just a bit different from ours.

Not everyone agrees with the parallel universe theory, however. A article on Medium by astrophysicist Ethan Siegal agreed that space-time could go on forever in theory , but said that there are some limitations with that idea. The key problem is the universe is just under 14 billion years old.

So our universe's age itself is obviously not infinite, but a finite amount. This would simply put limit the number of possibilities for particles to rearrange themselves, and sadly make it less possible that your alternate self did get on that plane after all to see China. Also, the expansion at the beginning of the universe took place exponentially because there was so much "energy inherent to space itself," he said.

But over time, that inflation obviously slowed — those particles of matter created at the Big Bang are not continuing to expand, he pointed out. Among his conclusions: that means that multiverses would have different rates of inflation and different times longer or shorter for inflation. This decreases the possibilities of universes similar to our own.

Do Parallel Universes Exist?

But rather than seeing this lack of other universes as a limitation, Siegal instead takes the philosophy that it shows how important it is to celebrate being unique. He advises to make the choices that work for you, which "leave you with no regrets.

Could Parallel Universes Be Physically Real?

Here are some of the more prominent uses of parallel universes in science fiction. This is by no means a complete list, but a sampling of some of the more-quoted examples. Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community space. To be sure, science fiction doesn't always connect in this way. And over recent years many of its finest practitioners have become so besotted by the endless new games that ever-accelerating progress allows them to play that their works can be inaccessible to the general reader.

To demand that everything be accessible is to demand mediocrity — there is a role for dialogues that can be appreciated only by cognoscenti. But we believe that science fiction written for every scientist can be rewarding, too, which is why this issue sees the return of our popular showcase for short science-fiction stories, Futures see page Science takes place in a cultural context. The many forward-looking, ever-changing worlds of science fiction provide one that is both fruitful and enjoyable.

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I Woke Up in a Parallel Universe

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