DO PARALLEL UNIVERSES EXIST?
“Life would be horrible in the wrong trouser of time.”
The ideas surrounding the parallel universe theory has inspired hundreds of movies, books and sitcoms. Imaginations run wild and we all fantasize about what we might be doing in a parallel universe.
For instance here you might be sitting at home, sipping tea and reading this article but in a parallel universe somewhere, you might be the one writing the article, while I’ll be the one sipping tea, and enjoying the read. Theoretical physics has long since tried to find proof for the existence of parallel universes. There hasn’t been any conclusive proof as of yet. But if you take Albert Einstein’s research on time travel, under consideration, his eventual hypothesis was that time travel is impossible by the simple fact that ‘If I could in the future find a way to time travel, I would have visited myself by now’ can be resolved if you consider that travelling through time by warping the space-time continuum would land you in a parallel universe instead of the same one.
Therefore, the existence of the parallel universes can theoretically negate the butterfly effect consequences of time travel, since any change made would be in an identical parallel universe and not the same one. These are all hypotheses formulated by the limited understanding we have of the parallel universes theory. There are a lot of controversies surrounding this idea, a lot of unanswered questions and every attempt to answer leads to a branching out of further questions.
Is there another world out there, quite like our own?,Picture Source: Flickr- free media
How many parallel universes there are, if at all? Is time linear in all of them? Do the same people exist in all these universes? Are there any consequences for us if there does exist a parallel universe? Is it really science or just science fiction? These and many such questions have always contested any new research that comes out, yet the curiosity in the minds of theoretical physicists remain and they believe this to be essential and ground breaking research.
One such group of scientists from the Griffith University has recently published their findings regarding the multiverse theory.
The “Many Interacting Worlds” approach is proposed by the team led by Professor Howard Wiseman, the senior author of the paper published in the journal called ‘Physical Review X’. According to the MIW approach, the world as experienced by us is “just one of an enormous number of essentially classical worlds, and all quantum phenomena arise from a universal force of repulsion that prevents worlds from having identical physical configuration. Probabilities arise only because of our ignorance as to which world an observer occupies.”
By the same logic,no two people, even twins for that matter, have the same fingerprints, no two worlds can be the same either.
The universe is full of unsolved mysteries. So can you rule out the existence of a parallel world. Picture Source: Flickr- free media
Dr. Michael Hall of Griffith University, the first author of the paper said, “The MIW approach may even create the extraordinary possibility of testing for the existence of other worlds. The beauty of our approach is that if there is just one world our theory reduces to Newton’s mechanics, while if there are a gigantic number of worlds it reproduces quantum mechanics. In between it predicts something new that is neither Newton’s theory nor quantum theory. We also believe that in providing a new mental picture of quantum effects, it will be useful in planning experiments, to test and exploit quantum phenomena.”
As per the MIW scientists parallel universes exist and “such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics.”
The ideas of parallel universes have been a subject of study in the field of quantum mechanics since 1987. In the well known ‘Many-World Interpretation’ it has been said that “each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. All possibilities are therefore realized, for instance – in some universes the dinosaurs still exist as the asteroid missed the Earth.”
Could there be another earth out there, and do you exist on it as well?. Picture Source: Flickr- free media
The approach given by the ‘Many-Worlds Interpretation’ has been criticized by physicists as it doesn’t define precisely when an observation occurs. The vagueness about the number of worlds there are at any given time and the blurry details regarding its properties are further critiqued.
Another criticism directed at this approach is that they do not interact with each other making them purely hypothetical.
These shortcomings have been made up for by the new approach MIW, according to which there are fixed truly gigantic number of worlds and all exist continuously through time with no branching. Their properties are precisely defined. In their interpretation, a world is specified by the exact position and velocity of every particle in that world. These worlds do interact with each other making them real and this interaction is the source of all quantum effects.
However, this postulation while compensating for the flaws of the ‘Many-Worlds Interpretation’ it still is just at a purely theoretical level and that has been the criticism that the whole study of parallel universes has received. A large number of scientists and academics believe that the study of parallel universes yield nothing as even if they do exist they do not affect us in any way. It is believed to be just a curiosity that scientists have regarding the existence of parallel universes.
Every time we make a choice, the universe splits into two. Picture Source: Flickr- free media
On the matter of Quantum Mechanics and the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Brian Greene, an American theoretical physicist and the acclaimed proponent of the Superstring theory, proffers, “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity does a fantastic job for explaining big things. Quantum Mechanics is fantastic for the other end of the spectrum – for small things. The big problem is that each theory is great for each realm, but when they confront each other, they are ferocious antagonists and the mathematics falls apart.”
Perhaps this is the reason, that we haven’t been able to find any conclusive proof for the existence of the parallel universes because the perspectives to begin with are split in the way they understand the parallel universes.
According to the Hindu cosmological understanding there are a multitude of universes in existence and every individual’s existence is inclusive of these limitless universes. In the Bhagvata Purana this concept is described as follows:‘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.’
This takes us to the realms of philosophy and spirituality and is more apt to explain the existence of individuals yet still doesn’t provide us with that conclusive proof that the non-believers of the parallel universe theory demand.
This debate opens up many possible perspectives on the matter of the parallel universes theory. Many people believe that it isn’t a scientific inquiry, and is rather a philosophical one. We decided to open the debate to let students and experts from the field of sciences to come and opine their views on the matter. We explored a multitude of opinions both in favor of and against the proof of multiverse existence.
Ankush Pratap (NSIT Delhi)
“I do believe that a parallel universe exists and I think science concurs. Newton
said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so for this universe there should be another universe to balance the forces.”
Raghav Kaushal (sri Venkateswara college)
I think there is no credibility in the existence of a multiverse or a parallel universe because there can’t be any scientific proof to support its existence.
Although some things are beyond the scope of scientific apparatus but claiming the presence of parallel universe will be like saying everything that can’t be proven does exist or is true.
Anand Krishna(NIIT Neemrana)
They exist because every possibility can exist in it’s own scope.
I can be a gardener in some other universe. I can die at 10 in some other universe all together.
Just because I’m not in the other universe doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
what do you think about Deja Vu s?
Don’t you think it’s a proof for parallel universes ?
Utkarsh Kumar (IIT Bombay)
As much as I would like to believe in their existence, I dont think I believe in the existence.
Medha Shree(NIT Surathkal)
I don’t think it exists. Merely because of no evidence of its existence.
Smridhi Gupta( DTU- Delhi Technological University)
One world is more than enough and besiudes there is no scientific proof to it
Siddharth Bulia(IIT Bombay)
I think they do exist
I belive in indian mythology, and they say they do
Acc to indian mythology, every universe has its set of rules, its own Brahma, Shiv, and all other demigods
Physics is science, not philosophy. There is no experimental evidence to support various theories that multiverse exists.
These theories are just ideologies and nothing else.
I guess in the end, the debate of the parallel universes is like the debate on the existence of God, if you can’t prove it, you can’t disprove it either. Maybe in the distant future we might just stumble upon some conclusive proof to test the existence of parallel universes. Perhaps in some other universe there is already an article in progress confirming the existence of parallel universes, you never know!
So my question is, in that universe, is it still “ONE” World News?!!