While the idea that there are an infinite or near-infinite number of universes seems like science fiction, there is strong evidence and theory supporting this idea. From infinite universes, to bubble universes, parallel universes, and even daughter universes, there is plenty of material and theories for me to explore here on this blog. This is an idea that can be explored from a scientific point of view, with the unending physical expansion of space as the explanation, or from a metaphysical point of view, where it COULD be seen as infinite realities.
The concept of a multiverse is relatively simple. It is basically stating that there are an infinite or near infinite number of universes where every possible scenario exists. For example imagine that you are currently wearing a red shirt, there are universes where you are wearing shorts with that shirt, and other universes where you you are wearing jeans. In some of those universes with the shorts you are wearing brown shoes, in others you are wearing black shoes. In others still, you are wearing a green shirt. Hopefully you get the point! What makes it even more fascinating is that these universes are not just limited to your wardrobe choices (which again are pretty much infinite), but can also extend to other realms, such as physics. Yes, there is a distinct possibility that there are universes where you can fly, and others where we all live under the ocean.
The origins of these endless universes are explained in several different ways, all scenarios the universe as we know it is endlessly expanding. This is known as Eternal Inflation, and is really the basis for these first two theories. The idea is that the big bang was a huge release of energy, causing the expansion of the universe to last forever throughout most if not all of the universe. I remember hearing the idea that no matter how fast you fly a spaceship, you will never reach the edge of the universe, because it is constantly growing and will always outpace you. The first theory (infinite universes) states that it is expanding at an even and consistent rate. This means that everything in the universe is smoothly and evenly spread out as it spreads out. Imagine a perfect circular body of water that is completely calm and still. When you drop a single water droplet in the exact center, the concentric circles expand equally out from the center. This would be a way to look at how the expansion of the universe under this theory would work. Since there is a limitation to how molecules can be arranged, at some point there is some sort of repetition. Like circles (or even squares) of universes lying next to each other in space. In another theory (bubble universes), the expansion is not quite as even. Instead, the some universes are pretty much done expanding, but bubbles are expanding off of it, creating these endless possibilities. What makes this one interesting is that since some of the universes are NOT linked, they could have different laws of physics. Finally there is also the idea that every decision you make creates a pocket universe where you chose the opposite option. This theory really feels like the most metaphysical of the three (but that could just be me). It’s really the idea that different universes are branching off based on choices being made…like a giant decision tree. If you really think about it, if you were to review every single decision you have ever made in your life, you would realize that the number of infinite universes would grow quite quickly. White socks or grey? Go to one store or another? Just based on one person, these different universes would be incredibly numerous, when you take into account all of humanity plus all humanity that has ever existed? The number would be off the chart. While these are not the ONLY theories or scientific explanations, they should give me sufficient material to work off of for the next couple of months!
Before his death last year, Stephen Hawking completed his final paper trying to address the question of expansion and the multiverse theory. He came to the conclusion that our universe is part of 1 of 2 options. The first option being that we are in an existence comprised of an infinite number of universes. However, if this is the case, then we are unfortunately in a simulation. The second option is more likely, and less ominous. That we ARE part of a multiverse, but it is not infinite, but instead is limited by our laws of physics and tools of science. What does that really mean? It means no flying and no water world, unfortunately. However it DOES confirm the idea of a multiverse, even if we are limited only to a smaller number of near infinite possibilities. It’s really not as limited as it initially sounds. It’s like comparing 100,000,000,000,000,000 universes to 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 universes, the second number is much larger, but the first number is by no means small.
While I don’t plan on being too metaphysical or spiritual on this category in the blog, I do want to address one idea really quickly. The idea of infinite realities and how that would compare to the idea of infinite universes. I think the main difference for me would be that in my understanding and conception of infinite realities, those realities are “next” to each other or even on top of each other. This is because in my belief, you can “slide” between those realities, especially between similar realities to the point where it is nearly imperceptible. Compare this to the infinite universe theory, like a patchwork quilt there is a large distance between one part of the next universe and this one. The patches might be close together, but the size of the patches are the issue, separating the similar parts of the two realities drastically, causing them to question the existence of one another. I will be going into greater detail on the idea of infinite realities under the metaphysics category, but I wanted to quickly address the differentiation here.
It suffices to say that there are a lot of pieces and theories feeding into the multiverse. Some ideas are easier to swallow than others, and some are not even on the table for consideration yet. As I research and explore these possibilities, i will make it easy for you to follow here on my blog!