Some Say When Right Conditions Exist – They Can Be Real
The idea that things exist in a particular, well-defined state at all times where their properties can be determined so long as you can measure them well enough was fundamental to how we conceived of the Universe.
When quantum physics came along, that idea went right out the window, never to return. The Universe, at a fundamental level, is indeterminate. One possible interpretation — that of infinite parallel Universes — holds that every time a quantum interaction occurs, all possible outcomes do actually occur somewhere, with only one of them reflecting what happens in our observable Universe. But if the right conditions exist, these parallel Universes will actually be real.
Quantum indeterminism is a fundamental fact of the Universe, but how we interpret it is up to us. If you fire a single electron through a double slit, you’d like for it to go through either one slit or the other, but that’s not how the Universe works. Instead, the electron acts as a wave, passing through both slits simultaneously and interfering with itself. If you take thousands of these electrons in a row, the interference pattern will emerge.
There are some 10^90 particles in the observable Universe, which has been around for 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, and each particle has undergone anywhere from millions of interactions to many quadrillions (or more) over that time. The number of possible outcomes is ridiculously huge — a number greater than (10^90)! — but that doesn’t mean the many-worlds approach is ridiculous. In fact, there are a number of ways in which it could be exactly true.
1.) The Universe, of which our observable Universe is a small part, was born infinite.
2.) Our Universe was born finite, but there were an infinite number of them born
3.) Our Universe was born finite, there are a finite number of Universes, but there are enough of them around that all possible outcomes still occur.
If the Universe was born infinite, if the state that gave rise to it existed for an infinite amount of time, or we simply created enough pocket Universes for these parallel Universes to exist today, then they’re real. And they could be real if any of these three possibilities are true; there are three different paths to success. But until we have some way of testing it, we have no way of knowing what the ultimate truth of the matter is, and whether parallel Universes truly are real.
Could Parallel Universes Truly Exist – What Say You?
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Starts With a Bang. The original item was written by Ethan Seigal. Materials may be edited for content and length.