Are we alone? Is there another me out there? People have pondered these questions since the dawn of humanity. In the last century scientists have begun to approach this question, basing hypotheses on complex mathematical structures. These theories describe vast multiverses and alternate realities that challenge the boundaries of the imagination. It is important to note that these hypotheses are untestable and therefore unfalsifiable, so scientifically speaking they have no value. Even so, we cannot help but wonder what lies beyond the cosmic horizon.
Level I: the infinite universe
You’ve probably heard that the universe is expanding, that space itself is growing. But what if it continues to expand forever? If the universe were infinitely large, chances are there would be another you out there. In fact, if space were truly infinite, all possibilities would be realized. Somewhere beyond the cosmological horizon would exist Earths where cats flew, people were purple, and you were the supreme ruler of the world. Some versions of you would be very similar, while others would be hardly recognizable. Next time you‘re feeling down, just remember that somewhere you could be on top of the world.
Level II: different physical constants
Imagine our universe as a bubble of space in a larger medium, an air pocket in a loaf of bread. Each bubble contains a separate universe with varying amounts of matter. Here’s the crazy part: like air pockets in bread, each bubble forms differently, giving each world different physical constants. In some universes atoms could be as big as elephants and water as dense as lead. Light could travel at different speeds, and gravity could be half as strong. These new constants could transform stars and galaxies or prevent their existence altogether.
Level III: the many-worlds interpretation
Quantum (sub-atomic) particles exist in multiple states: they occupy many locations at once. When we observe them, however, they appear in just one. How can the particles show up in only one location when we know they exist in other places as well? According to the many-worlds interpretation, they still exist in all states—just in alternate realities. The theory posits that observing a quantum event splits the universe into a series of alternate worlds in which every possibility is realized. This means that observing a particle creates a parallel universe for every place it could appear. Though we see the particle in only one place, it occupies all locations across the spectrum of alternate realities. Perhaps even stranger is that the power to split the universe lies in the blink of an eye.
Level IV: new laws of physics
Our universe seems to be governed by a precise set of mathematical equations, but would other universes have the same laws? Under this hypothesis their physics could be entirely different. Similar to the level II multiverse, this theory takes the idea a step further by suggesting that the equations could come to new equilibria, that our laws of physics are just one of many, possibly infinite possibilities. These other universes would look and function in ways beyond the scope of the human imagination and feature creations the likes of which we have never seen.
So what do you think of these multiverse hypotheses? Is it strange to think there could be another you? Let me know in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday!
Comment question of the week
Which multiverse theory is most mind blowing?