Universe or Multiverse: Are We One Of Many?
Multiverse is a hypothesis which states that our universe could be one of an infinite number of universes. Thus, forming a multiverse. Another term of Multiverse is “Meta-Verse”.
The multiverse belief is rooted on the assumption that what we consider to be “the universe” is but merely a small component of a huge and perhaps infinite accumulation of universes. The multiverse principle is an effort to evade confirmation for the apparent fine-tuning of cosmic laws, values, and constants. For example, that the universe would be advantageous to bio-habitability. The central proposition of the multiverse concept attempts to expand one’s probabilistic resources beyond that which is available in the observable universe.
Probability of Multiverse
The universe that we live in might be the one and only universe in here. Or we could be one small part of a big multiverse including an infinite number of universes in it. Scientists are not sure about the shape of space-time. But it is most likely flat (as opposed to spherical or even donut-shape). And also stretches out infinitely. And moreover, the observable universe where the light has had reached since the big bang explosion is 13.7 billion light years. So, we can deduce, space-time beyond that distance can possibly have its own separate universe.
Eternal inflation theory states that universes are continuously expanding or inflating after big bang explosion. According to a proposition by Tufts University cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, which suggests that some pockets of universe seize to expand and while others keep on inflating. Just like a balloon. So, this might suggest that our universe is one of those inflating bubble universes which is no longer inflating.
Another assumption arises from the String Theory.
It is the possibility of many other dimensions or orientations of space-time than the three of space and one of time that we know. Columbia University physicist Brian Greene describes the idea. He says that “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 is according to his book “The Hidden Reality” (Vintage Books, 2011).
The theory of quantum mechanics which governs the tiny world of subatomic particles. This theory describes the universe regarding possibilities as opposed to definite outcomes. And explaining this theory mathematically proves that all possible outcomes of a situation do occur; in their own universes.
“And in each universe, there’s a copy of you witnessing one or the other outcome, thinking — incorrectly — that your reality is the only reality”. This is what Greene wrote in “The Hidden Reality.”
Scientists are still debating that whether the mathematics is a reliable tool for explaining the universe and its phenomenon or whether math itself is the fundamental reality. If the latter is the case, then the mathematical procedures and its structures are not the only options. And also scientists cannot consider it reliable.
“A mathematical structure is something that you can describe in a way that’s completely independent of human baggage,” said Max Tegmark of MIT, who proposed this brain-twisting idea. “I really believe that there is this universe out there that can exist independently of me that would continue to exist even if there were no humans.”
It sounds ridiculous. But the latest piece of proof that could favor a multiverse comes from the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society. A recently published study on the so-called ‘cold spot’. This is a particularly cool patch of space observable in the radiation. And this radiation is a product of the formation of the Universe more than 13 billion years ago.
This cold spot was first discovered by the NASA in 2004. And it was later strengthened by the ESA’s Planck mission in 2014. This study claims that the cold spot is the optical illusion. And it’s formation is a result of intervening galaxies.
While commenting on the recent study, Prof. T Shanks from the University of Durham, said “We can’t entirely rule out that the Spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard [theory of the Big Bang]. But if that isn’t the answer, then there are more exotic explanations. Perhaps the most exciting of these is that the cause of the Cold Spot was a collision. This collision was between our universe and another bubble universe. If further, more detailed, analysis … proves this to be the case then the Cold Spot might be taken as the first evidence for the multiverse.”
One of the vocal opponents of the multiverse where ironically once its architects. Paul Steinhardt from Princeton University, one of the study authors of the theory of the origin of our universe. It’s the one that struggles to explain the cold spot, while also giving rise to the multiverse. This is because according to its mathematical calculation once a universe begins to form, it triggers more to be an infinite universe to come into being.
“Long thing short, Paul Steinhardt turned against his own study and theory.”
In 2014, he told Scientific American magazine, “Our observable universe would be just one possibility out of a continuous spectrum of outcomes. So, we have not explained any feature of the universe by introducing inflation after all. We have just shifted the problem of the original big bang model to the inflationary model.”
The original big bang model is how can we explain our simple universe when there is a nearly infinite variety of possibilities that could emerge from the big bang? While the inflationary model is how can we explain our simple universe when there is a nearly infinite variety of possibilities that could emerge in a multiverse?.
Consider it a fun fact, or an irony. The average temperature of space everywhere is the same, which is near about 2.7 degree Kelvin. And this is very near to absolute zero. Scientists wonder how could different parts of space, separated by vast stretches of distance, have the same temperature.
Pleasantly, if we do live in a multiverse, we can assure ourselves that somewhere out there is an alternate version of us. To better understand it watch movie Interstellar by Christopher Nola.
Still, science is continuously pushing the boundaries of its knowledge. “In some sense, there’s a frontier,” James Bullock, Professor of Astronomy at UC Irvine, said. “And there’s going to always be this fuzzy frontier on the edge of knowledge where things are not locked down. And that doesn’t mean those pursuits aren’t worthy. That’s where the crux of the issue lies: we want to be honest about the things we understand and don’t understand.”
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