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The Multiverse Theory is the theory that states there might be multiple or even an infinite amount of universes besides our own. Parallel universes began with the big bang that made our universe as well. Maybe, the universe we know is our universe. Maybe there is another universe which also has an “Earth” and we’re living on Earth-2. These multiverses are also known as “meta-universes” or “omniverses.”
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The word “multiverse” was originally used back in 1895 when American philosopher and Psychologist William James used them to discuss the “Multiverse Conundrum” in his essay, “Is Life Worth Living?” James said, “Truly, all we know of good and duty proceeds from nature… [which] is all plasticity and indifference – a moral multiverse, as one might call it” and then this new word was created. A century later, and James’s neologism has been used by physicists in a, somewhat, different context.
Nowadays ‘multiverse’ refers to the possible existence of many universes. In Dublin, Ireland in the early 1950s, physicist Erwin Schrödinger gave a lecture where he stated, what he was about to say might seem crazy. In this lecture, he described that when his equations seem to display different histories, he stated that they were “not alternatives but all really happening simultaneously,” starting a discussion about alternate universes.
Multiverses have been discussed in cosmology, physics, astronomy, religion, transpersonal psychology, and literature (mainly in science fiction and the fiction genre). The Multiverse has also been called “parallel universes,” “alternate dimensions,” “quantum universes,” or “parallel worlds.” Some Physicist says that the Multiverse Theory is not a legit theory and claims that this theory is pseudo and should not be discussed in the science community. Prominent physicists, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson
and Stephen Hawking, are advocates to the discussion of the Multiverse theory. Other physicists are against it because of the lack of evidence in this theory. In an article on Space.com, author Elizabeth Howell states that the universe we know and love is only fourteen billion years old. Stating that the universe’s age is a finite amount and it is “obviously not infinite”. That statement in that article is the authors argument on disproving the chance of multiple alternate universes. Howell says that is the “key problem”. Seeing that the age of the universe is a finite number, that would “limit the number of possibilities for particles to rearrange themselves”. Some other physicists would disagree.
Since it is called multiverse, there are different types of universes. Brian Greene, an american theoretical physicist and string theorist, has created nine types of multiverses. The first multiverse is the Quilted universe. The Quilted universe only works in an infinite universe. An infinite universe, has an infinite amount of space. So in the quilted multiverse, ever possible event will happen an infinite amount of times but every event moves at the speed of light, preventing us from being aware of the events happening at the same time as another one.
The second universe he discusses is the Inflationary universe. The inflationary multiverse is an alternate universe composed of “pockets”. This universe continues to expand but at a slower rate. The third multiverse James discusses is the Brane multiverse. This multiverse suggests that our entire universe exists on a membrane which is currently floating in a “higher dimension” or a “bulk”. In these bulks there are membranes with their own universes. These universes can interact with each other and
when they collide, the energy produced is more than enough to cause a big bang. The cyclic universe also has these ‘membranes’ but they have collided causing a string of Big Bangs. This multiverse bounces back and pass through time until they are ultimately pulled back together causing yet another collision, destroying the old and creating new contents.
The next multiverse that Greene talks about is the Landscape multiverse. This multiverse relies on string theory’s Calabi-Yau spaces. Fluctuations in this quantum universe changes the shapes to a lower energy level, creating a pocket with a set of laws different from the space in the surrounding area. A Calabi-Yau is a type of manifold that yields application in theoretical physics. Calabi-Yau is used particularly when in discussion about the superstring theory. The Quantum universe is an alternate
universe that creates a new universe when a diversion in events occur. As in many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Basically, in this multiverse, new universes are created when events that could have different outcomes happen.
The seventh type of multiverse that Greene considers is the holographic multiverse. This multiverse assumes the holographic principles. The holographic principles states that “everything that happens in a space can be explained in terms of information that’s somehow stored on the surface of that space.” This principle is not a direct aspect of the string theory or M-theory but applies, broadly, to theories about gravity in any kind of spaces. The second to last type of multiverse is the Simulated
multiverse. This universe is basically what the whole Matrix trilogy is all about. The simulated multiverse exists on extremely complex computer systems that can easily replicate another world. This multiverse exist strictly on a computer generated universe. This is where we get the “glitch in the matrix” joke.
The final multiverse that Brian Greene considers is the Ultimate multiverse. The Ultimate Multiverse contains every single mathematically possible universe with different laws of physics and constants. Cosmologist, Max Tegmark, states that “[our] external physical reality is a mathematical structure”. This physical universe is not simply described by mathematics, it is mathematics or a mathematical structure. Tegmark states “In any mathematical structure complex enough to contain such substructures,”
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they “will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically ‘real’ world.” This multiverse is most closely related to the simulated multiverse due to the notion that it is not an actually physical universe but a parallel world that has been generated.
Where does this leave us? Until we can find definite proof to these alternate universe then the Multiverse theory will continue to be a subject of intense debate in the science community. The study of this theory was very interesting due to the fact that there are so many different types of potential alternate universes. Greene’s interpretation of the different types, in my opinion, are far more in depth than Tegmark’s simple 4 types that group multiple types of universes into just 4 categories. Greene sees each universe as it’s own entity and should be categorized in that way.
❖ Greene, Brian (24 January 2011). “A Physicist Explains Why Parallel Universes May Exist”. npr.org (Interview). Interviewed by Terry Gross. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014
❖ Kragh, H. (2009). “Contemporary History of Cosmology and the Controversy over the Multiverse”. Annals of Science. 66 (4): 529–551.
❖ Williams, Matt. “What Is the Multiverse Theory?” Universe Today, 26 Apr. 2017, www.universetoday.com/77523/multiverse/.
❖ Brian Greene. The Hidden Reality
❖ Araujo, Eduardo Silva. Inflation and Multiverse. edisciplinas.usp.br/pluginfile.php/394082/mod_resource/content/1/Inflation_Wilhelm_Eduardo.pdf.
❖ James, William. “Is Life Worth Living?” Full Text of “Is Life Worth Living?”, archive.org/stream/islifeworthlivin00jameuoft/islifeworthlivin00jameuoft_djvu.txt.
❖ “String Theory: Insight from the Holographic Principle.” Dummies, www.dummies.com/education/science/physics/string-theory-insight-from-the-holographic-principle/.
❖ “The Universe Is Made Of Mathematics.” Philosophy Now: a Magazine of Ideas, philosophynow.org/issues/113/The_Universe_Is_Made_Of_Mathematics.
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