On the Trail of the Multiverse

Article by

parallel

According to the Hindu text Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, “there are innumerable universes besides this one.” This concept of multiple universes is well known to Hindus familiar with the scriptures. But modern physicists have also been pondering whether our universe is all that we have or if there are many universes out there.

Throughout much of modern history, our scientific understanding of the universe has been limited by what we could see. As our telescopes have grown more powerful, the size of the universe has increased as well. However, we can only “see” so far, leaving many scientists to wonder what the universe is like beyond the far limits of our technology.

Some scientists even postulate that there may be not just one universe, but many—what’s known as a multiverse. Max Tegmark, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has proposed four possible types of multiverses.

Level One Multiverse: The Extension of Our Universe
The universe that we actually can see is limited by the strength of our modern telescopes. Few physicists believe the universe ends right at this point, although it’s impossible to know what exists beyond the range of our telescopes.

The first type of multiverse suggests that our universe simply keeps on going, all the way to infinity. If this were true, then an infinite number of possibilities exist out there, such as an infinite number of Earths or Milky Way galaxies. And just as we are limited by our telescopes, other universes would also be isolated by their own.

Level Two Multiverse: Pocket Universes
The second type of multiverse is similar to the first, but it suggests that as the universe expanded, pocket universes were cut off from each other. Unlike the first type of multiverse, where the laws of physics are the same everywhere, in this type they may vary radically among the different pocket universes.

This can be tied to string theory, which has many possible solutions. Each one of these may correspond to a separate universe. This leads to the thought that humans only exist because our universe happens to be ideally suited for life (the “Goldilocks zone”). For example, if another pocket universe did not have gravity, then life might never have started, leaving that universe sterile.

Level Three Multiverse: Many Worlds
Like the first type of multiverse, the third supposes that the laws of physics are consistent across all universes. In this case, though, new daughter universes appear at each moment in time, leading to all possible futures existing somewhere.

Take the case of the Schrödinger’s cat paradox, which supposes that until the box is opened, the cat exists in two states—dead and alive. According to the many worlds multiverse, separate universes exist for each of those states (or wave functions). Of course, an observer in each of those universes would be aware of only one of those outcomes.

Level Four Multiverse: The Mathematical Multiverse
The last type of multiverse moves beyond comprehensible physics and into the realm of metaphysics. Tegmark proposes that each coherent system of mathematics may belong to some kind of physical reality—or separate universe. So a system that does not make sense in our universe might be perfect valid elsewhere.

None of these multiverses has been verified experimentally, but this classification system gives physicists a good scaffolding on which to hang their future multiversal endeavors.

_____

Every universe is covered by seven layers—
earth, water, fire, air, sky, the total
energy and false ego—each ten times
greater than the previous one. There are innumerable universes besides this one,
and although they are unlimitedly large,
they move about like atoms in You.
Therefore You are called unlimited.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.16.37

Total
0
Shares

The Dangers of Quantum Tech

Article by ,

The United Nations has proclaimed 2025 as the International Year of Quantum Science and Technology

Indigenous Futurism?

Article by

National Geographic Explorer Keolu Fox says the key to harnessing the technology of tomorrow is centering traditions of the past

Magic Died When Art and Science Split

Article by

Renée Bergland’s 3 greatest revelations while writing Natural Magic: Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and the Dawn of Modern Science

Quantum physics reveals the unity of the universe

Article by

Quantum physics revives the ancient idea of universal oneness that Christianity unjustly excluded from our culture

#77 Regenerative Medicine

Podcast with

Exploring the frontiers of alternative medicine and healing modalities with renowned Cerebral Spiral Fluid expert.

Pixels, Patterns & Perspectives

Video with

Physicist and Author Sky Nelson-Isaacs urges us to see the world differently and consider how pixels and patterns converge to evoke a new perspective.

Time to Support Indigenous Science

Article by

Faced with the profound challenges of a rapidly changing environment, society needs other ways of knowing to illuminate a different way forward

Resonantly Perfect Solar System Found

Article by

Researchers have located "the perfect solar system", forged without the violent collisions that made our own a hotchpotch of different-sized planets

Support SAND with a Donation

Science and Nonduality is a nonprofit organization. Your donation goes towards the development of our vision and the growth of our community.
Thank you for your support!