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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 Zz9zZ on Thursday September 03 2015, @11:02PM

    by Zz9zZ (1348) on Thursday September 03 2015, @11:02PM (#232023)

    I think you missed your calling as a philosopher ;)

    My point was that the hypothesis ventures too far past our current scientific knowledge. Astronomers may find proof of the multiverse only later to find out that our theory of gravity is incomplete, and the updated version explains the observations. It feels like trying to understand superconductivity before fully grasping basic electricity.

    Since we're updating our theory of the atom http://phys.org/news/2015-08-theory-radiationless-revolution.html [phys.org] I think it is safe to say solving the grand mystery of the universe may be a tad ambitious (though don't let my hesitation stop anyone! :D ). Not trying to be a buzz-kill, trying to add a little grounding to the conversation.

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  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday September 04 2015, @05:55PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Friday September 04 2015, @05:55PM (#232356) Journal

    Astronomers may find proof of the multiverse only later to find out that our theory of gravity is incomplete, and the updated version explains the observations.

    On the other hand, if astronomers *aren't* searching for proof of the multiverse, they might not find the data which could lead to that updated theory of gravity.

    This isn't a video game where you get the entire tech tree laid out before you and you just have to choose where to go. If we really knew with any certainty where the research was going to lead, we wouldn't need to research it! :)