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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday September 03 2015, @06:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the Two-Roads-Diverged-in-a-Yellow-Wood dept.

The existence of parallel universes may seem like something cooked up by science fiction writers, with little relevance to modern theoretical physics. But the idea that we live in a “multiverse” made up of an infinite number of parallel universes has long been considered a scientific possibility – although it is still a matter of vigorous debate among physicists. The race is now on to find a way to test the theory, including searching the sky for signs of collisions with other universes.

It is important to keep in mind that the multiverse view is not actually a theory, it is rather a consequence of our current understanding of theoretical physics. This distinction is crucial. We have not waved our hands and said: “Let there be a multiverse”. Instead the idea that the universe is perhaps one of infinitely many is derived from current theories like quantum mechanics and string theory.

The universes predicted by string theory and inflation live in the same physical space (unlike the many universes of quantum mechanics which live in a mathematical space), they can overlap or collide. Indeed, they inevitably must collide, leaving possible signatures in the cosmic sky which we can try to search for.

Whether we will ever be able to prove their existence is hard to predict. But given the massive implications of such a finding it should definitely be worth the search.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by ese002 on Thursday September 03 2015, @10:33PM

    by ese002 (5306) on Thursday September 03 2015, @10:33PM (#232008)

    Headline: "it is Science that can be Tested in principle"

    Below the headline: "The race is now on to find a practical way to test the theory"

    Make up your mind - which is it? Is it testable or not?

    Some important qualifiers are missing.

    The Many Worlds interpretation is a parallel universe "theory" that can not be tested. The other universes are not accessible and the universe that we do see can interpreted in ways that do not involve parallel universes.

    A multiverse that is, in principle, distinguishable form a single universe is a big deal. However, you still need to devise an experiment within the limits of the technology and energies we have available. A theory that can be tested using galactic mass rotating cylinders that are light years long is still technically testable but that does mean we are going to get an answer soon.

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