You may recently have read about the discovery of the first shred of evidence to support the multiverse theory. There is a version of me that skipped right past this article, but the one that didn’t brings you a brief overview of the Many-worlds theory and details some recent research which could go some of the way to supporting it..
Hugh Everett, who first proposed the Many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, is said to have formulated the idea while drinking with friends one evening in 1954. Everett went on to develop this sensational idea for his PhD thesis. Described as “One of the most important developments in the history of science” the Many-Worlds interpretation suggests that we are living in just one of a possibly infinite number of universes. Each of which is populated with full copies of us that simultaneously trials every possible alternate history and future. Think of history as an unpredictably branched tree, where all possibilities become actualities, as opposed to a contiguous series of unfolding events. As each decision opens up subsequent and exclusive decisions, these universes can become incredibly distinctive and alien.
The famous Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment suggests that the cat when in the box, exists in two states (alive and dead) until the point of observation, where one of the two possibilities collapses and the cat is either dead or alive. However, the Many-worlds theory suggests that the observer becomes a part of the system and now exists in two states (in two different universes), one state that is looking for a new pet and questions the decision to put Kitty in the box, and one that opens the box to find the cat alive.
The potential evidence for this theory comes from a “Cold spot” in our universe around 3 billion light years away that has baffled scientists for years. Discovered in 2004 this area has attracted swathes of interest due to its, perhaps ironically, lack of galaxies in comparison to other areas of space and cooler temperature. This cool patch of space doesn’t really fit with the standard ‘inflation’ explanation of the universe. While most cosmologists agree that the cold spot was unlikely to have been caused by the birth of the universe, this latest study claims to rebut another theory, that the cold spot is a result of an optical illusion caused by the lack of intervening galaxies. To achieve this, 7000 galactic redshifts were surveyed to measure their distance, and it was theorised that this cold spot is literally a gap in space. While the possibility that this is a simple peculiarity of the inflation model cannot be ruled out. Simulations gave the cold spot a meagre 2% chance of occurring randomly and thus, these findings open the door for more unorthodox theories to stake their responsibility.
The most exciting of these is the multiverse theory. It is possible that a collision between our universe and another universe caused a shunting action, pushing energy out of this area of space; creating the cold spot. This could represent the first evidence for the multiverse, with far-stretching implications for the field of physics.
While it is possible that we may never know the truth (or we already do), here are a few implications of this theory;
- Every single possible combination of events happens all the time.
- Every possible thing you can conceive has already happened or will occur.
- Nothing is real; Everything is meaningless.
So whenever you’re unsure about a choice, just remember; Choice is a fantasy. Everything that can happen does happen. We simply exist in one of the worlds trialling each outcome, but with a billion versions of you experiencing every possible combination of events or physical laws; you might get lucky or you might still have to go to work tomorrow.