My parents and I were having a conversation over lunch about possible alien life in the universe and the theory of multiple universes or dimensions. My mom noticed that I’m interested in the topic and so she challenge me to write a report about the multiverse theory to make her understand it more as well as appreciate it as much as I do. I finished this a couple of months ago and I figured I should share it here on my blog.
Date: September 23 – September 28 2015
I. Concept of a multiverse
a.) Possibilities if the multiverse is real.
b.) Who supports the multiverse theory?
II. Theories of the creation of the multiverse and possible types of multiverses.
a.) What kinds of multiverses might exist?
b.) Max Tegmark’s Four Levels
III. What could have caused the multiverse?
a.) Multiverse in pop culture
b.) Earliest appearances of the multiverse theory in books.
c.) Famous books concerning multiversity
A multiverse is an idea of having an infinite number of Earths and universes. Compared to other theories, the multiverse theory is relatively new and is the source of heated debate in the physics community. There are a lot of things that can separate one universe to another in a multiverse. For example, one of the Earths in a multiverse can be frozen in ice because the Ice Age never stopped and humans have built large cities underground. Or one universe might’ve mastered reality warping and conquered other universes with their superior technology. In a multiverse, anything is possible and our universe in completely insignificant on the cosmic scale.
The multiverse theory is backed up by well-known scientists like Stephen Hawking, Andrei Linde and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Brian Greene, a theoretical physicist, discussed about the nine types of parallel universes that might exist. They are Quilted, Inflationary, Holographic, Simulated and Ultimate. Some of the most mind-blowing kinds of parallel universes is the Ultimate, Simulated and Inflationary. The Ultimate multiverse comprises every mathematically possible universe with every different laws of physics which is amazing if you imagine it; simulated multiverse exists on complex computer systems (just like The Matrix) that control entire universes. This could mean that someone or something that is extremely intelligent created; and lastly inflationary multiverse, where inflation (what is inflation?) happens all the time causes the form of new universes.
Before Brian Greene’s types of multiverses, there came Max Tegmark’s four levels which is broader than Greene’s, but is still also similar. Here are the four levels.
Level I: A universe with same laws of physics but with different initial conditions.
Level II: Universe with different physical constants
Level III: Same as Level II
Level IV: A universe with different fundamental equations of physics
Just like the inflationary universe, the multiverse might have produced thousands of universes way way way before Earth due to implosion. Implosion of universe is caused by the forever expanding of universes and when it expands too much, it implodes causing birth to a new universe. This theory is called Eternal Inflation and it’s basically an extension of the Big Bang theory. It all started in 1979 when Alan Guth independently developed a model and four years later for the first time, the key ideas were presented by Paul Steinhardt and Alex Vilenkin. And it all started there.
There is a theory that every single time we make a decision, we create a universe and by making a decision it is also how we create reality. We create infinite universes and considering how many people are making decisions around the world per minute then it means there are more than billions of universes in the multiverse created by humans since the time of the Ice Age. Another theory worth mentioning is that when a matter is pulled by a black whole (a deceased star) it becomes so dense it spits out and creates a new universe from it.
Most people nowadays are familiar with the concept of a multiverse because the multiverse is shown in different kinds of entertainment like movies, tv shows, sci-fi books and comic books.
Before Alan Guth, there have been books that seem to be set in a multiverse one of those are Narnia and The Wizard of Oz. Narnia is completely different from Earth because Narnia is a flat world and is in a geocentric universe (also known as a Ptolemaic system) meaning Narnia is the orbital center of all celestial bodies. This is completely different from our universe because here, planets orbit the sun. While Narnia is flat and is in a geocentric universe, Oz is a world with Munchkins, Gnomes and monkeys with wings. They are one of the first famous locations to be in a multiverse. Both locations are clearly set somewhere in the multiverse.
The multiverse is also established in the comic book world. The multiverse first appeared in comics in Flash #123 (Sep 1961). It featured Jay Garrick (the first flash who’s residing in Earth 2) and Barry Allen (who is from another universe) accidentally sent himself to Earth Two. This issue triggered the creation of the DC Multiverse where there are a lot of versions of characters and worlds. Parallel Earths and Universes interact in cross-over story arcs like Crisis On Infinite Earths, Crisis and more recently Convergence.
It’s good that the multiverse is shown in movies, books and tv shows because it helps us open our minds to all sorts of possibilities because anything is possible in a place with infinite Earths. And even though we haven’t discovered any at the moment, we might discover one in the near future because there are a lot of advancements in technology. Just make sure to prepare yourself because it will be quite a shock when we discover other Earths.