Imagine this: it’s the day of an important interview but you overslept, so you quickly get dressed, grab some food, and run to the bus stop. But you miss the bus, so you have no choice but to walk, quickly. You check your watch as you turn the corner and collide with an unsuspecting pedestrian. Frustrated, you curse and walk away. You finally arrive at the appointment, sweaty and flustered, only to discover that your interviewer is the pedestrian you just showered with a barrage of vicious blasphemies. Yes, sometimes it seems like the universe is just not on your side.
But luckily, there are so many to choose from. Due to our parents’ excessive fondness, many of us live under the false impression that we are, for some reason, special: a completely unique blend of atoms and personal stories that come together to make that precious someone we call “me”. The thing is, the world of contemporary physics tells us the opposite.
It tells us that somewhere in the vast cosmos, other worlds exist where identical versions of you are happily living under the impression that they, and only they, are the true you.
I’m referring, of course, to the multiverse, a theory that holds that our universe is just one of many infinite universes, of infinite variety. Now, that may sound very crazy, and it is, but it’s actually based on quite solid science.
At level 1 of the multiverse, there are other regions of space the size of our universe, with particles that started in slightly different places than those here. This means there are copies of you with small differences in their reality.
At level 2, the multiverse becomes much more diverse. Here, history unfolded completely differently, physical laws can vary, and there are infinite possibilities of how we could be.
At level 3, the multiverse is found in the quantum space of Hilbert. Here, particles can be in two places at once, implying that different versions of you can exist in different places simultaneously.
Finally, at level 4, the multiverse becomes mathematical. This level is the most diverse and possibly the most abstract, as it would include all conceivable and inconceivable possible universes.
In summary, the multiverse presents the possibility that other universes exist where different versions of ourselves live completely different lives. It is a fascinating idea that challenges our traditional understanding of reality.
Source: Max Tobin, BBC Reel, “Existential Crisis” series
– Universe: the entirety of space and time and all forms of matter and energy that exist in it.
– Multiverse: the set of multiple universes that may exist beyond our own universe.
– Inflation: a theory that holds that spacetime expanded at a dizzying speed after the Big Bang, creating a potentially infinite, uniform cosmic plane.
– Quantum mechanics: a branch of physics that studies the behavior of subatomic particles and physical systems at very small scales.
– Hilbert space: a mathematical concept that describes an abstract space in which the quantum states of a physical system can be represented.
– Parallel universes: universes that exist alongside ours, with different physical laws and historical outcomes.
– Max Tobin, BBC Reel, “Existential Crisis” series