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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.

http://theconversation.com/the-theory-of-parallel-universes-is-not-just-maths-it-is-science-that-can-be-tested-46497


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  • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Thursday September 03 2015, @10:35PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Thursday September 03 2015, @10:35PM (#232010) Homepage

    So many, in fact, that there are instances that are identical down to the smallest atomic position (which implies that the universe from within their light cone looks just like this one, and that they speak English, Russian, Turkish, etc.)

    What boggled my mind was that you can even calculate how far you'd have to travel to stand a particular chance of finding one. I think it was something like a radius of 1082 light years within which there's a high probability of there being another region of space identical to our observable universe.

    Could be misremembering that number completely, though. And it probably goes up a lot if you have to start worrying about the laws of physics changing through space.

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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday September 04 2015, @10:04PM

    by HiThere (866) on Friday September 04 2015, @10:04PM (#232440) Journal

    Well, if the laws of physics change through space then I don't think you will get identical sections. Not unless they change randomly or oscillate or some such. So that would be a different multiworld theory yet.

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