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Alternative universes: Do they exist?

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does anyone believe in multiverses/alternative universes?

Some scientists such as Richard Dawkins believe they exist.

I think they exist but am not sure if it is likely they do.

I think it would be interesting if they are real.

I'd imagine there would be different versions of yourself etc

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I've always liked the genre of alternate history so the idea of parallel universes and the like are totally awesome. I read somewhere that the CMB cold spot, could be the sign of another universe, pressing against our own.

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I think other universe are quite likely but alternate versions of ourselves? Nah.

That being said, the 'Other Worlds Interpretation is interadesting' in it's own right.

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The many world's interpretation of quantum mechanics seems to be a front runner just now, meaning that there are mega copies of you, me and everything, all supposedly totally separate. This is just speculation but, since the mind-body problem is no closer to a solution than it has ever been, I have an idea that our conscious is not so separate, that we all exist in all of these incarnations all the time but are not aware of the others usually. Maybe that is what the afterlife is. You die in one universe but become aware of another.

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I think they exist and like the idea of alternative versions of myself and history in general.

I'd imagine if they do exist there are other Me's.

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From my understanding of alternate universes or the many worlds interpretation:

Does every quantum-level interaction create a new universe? Does every probability of wave function collapse or decoherence manifest into a reality?

Think of all the quantum-level interactions going on constantly everywhere in the universe. Somewhere I ran across a web page that predicted how many alternate universes must be being created every second if this were true. I've lost track of that page, but it was a big number!

If a quantum interaction occurs somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy, does that event create a new universe (or many universes) with an alternate me in it (in them)?

It seems to me this could only be so if all these alternate universes already exist or have some innate potential to exist in some virtual form.

Are all these alternate universes spawning new universes, and those new universes, and those new universes, ...?

It's easier for me to consider what happens in our universe stays in our universe. There may be a multi-verse, and if there are an infinite number of universes existing in this manner, there must be an infinite number of universes exactly like ours, and an infinite number of me's typing these words.

That's enough for me to try to get my head around.

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[...]

If a quantum interaction occurs somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy, does that event create a new universe (or many universes) with an alternate me in it (in them)?

[...]

Its just distance (~2.5 million light years to Andromeda), just as distance between your eye and keyboard (~1 light nano second).

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I think other universe are quite likely but alternate versions of ourselves? Nah.

That being said, the 'Other Worlds Interpretation is interadesting' in it's own right.

There may actually be alternate versions of ourselves in this universe. If the universe is infinite with an infinite number of planets then the chances of there being another planet in the universe exactly like Earth in every way possible, even down to there being another you and another me who are exactly the same as us, is 100%.

Edited by TheLastLazyGun

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There may actually be alternate versions of ourselves in this universe. If the universe is infinite with an infinite number of planets then the chances of there being another planet in the universe exactly like Earth in every way possible, even down to there being another you and another me who are exactly the same as us, is 100%.

I suppose the math works out that way, but that other you and me are not you and me.

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There are many ways there could be a multiplicity if not an infinity of "universes." Perhaps the most likely in my mind is that there exist separate "realms" of dimensions utterly unconnected to whatever set of dimensions we inhabit. Mathematics knows no limit to the number of possible dimensions.

(This is one of my problems with the God idea -- how does He know for sure about these other realms -- there could be an infinity of them outside his ken, even if he knows about an infinity of them).

Then, again, the universe we are in might be a self-perpetuating machine eternally producing new universes, in any of many possible ways, including really smart kids making them in a basement somewhere.

And then, of course, every time the universe has to make a quantum decision, it generates however many universes needed to make the probabilities come out right -- and for some of these "decisions" that requires a damn lot of universes.

It may even be the the cosmos we inhabit is itself infinite -- something we can never know since the expansion has put all but a tiny bit of it forever outside our event horizon. I like the idea that the "Big Bang" itself was infinite and that the universe hasn't been getting bigger at all -- just less dense and cooler. In that case the inflationary epoch must have really been something.

All this is far more in line with the Hindu/Buddhist tradition than anything else I know, but I think even they would be flabbergasted.

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I have no doubt that alternate universes exist,though i have no proof.This is one reason i do not give religious people a hard time unless they bother me first.Just because it cannot be proven does not mean its not real.In just our universe alone all we have 100% proof of is that earth supports life and we live on it.What we believe is real is what we are told until proven otherwise.We have a long way to go.

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there may be parallel universes but there is no parallel 'you'

taking 'you' out of the context of where you are, you cease to exist, people may remember you but you no longer 'exists'

taking 'you' out from the context of where you are, they cease to exist, you may remember them but they no longer 'exists'

the question of 'maybe somewhere' doesn't show up or make the theoretical math, what it suggests is that they may be 'instances' of parallel universes.

which means these parallel universes 'collapses' to 'null' when one or another decision is returned as 'true'

meaning that if you still where you are then you are 'true' where as your parallel collapses to 'null' meaning also 'false'

its just the after flash of a mind bending realisation that there are other ways to express 'reality'

most of what you are as a 'reality' is based on the collective expectations and memories of the people in your immediate and effective environment.

Take that away or take you away, then you'll have to 'adapt' and 'adjust' so too would the affected individuals with greater recollections of interactions.

By all due considerations, you practically ceases to exist to them and they to you.

The parallel universes of you do not exist, because if they did, you would not, and by that conclusion, we too, the ones reading and myself writing this, would not exist too.

~edit : spellchecker blindspot

Edited by third_eye

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does anyone believe in multiverses/alternative universes?

Some scientists such as Richard Dawkins believe they exist.

I think they exist but am not sure if it is likely they do.

I think it would be interesting if they are real.

I'd imagine there would be different versions of yourself etc

I certainly do. There is no reason to assume that there are not more and simple common sense which can be wrong but usually isn't tells us that if there is one there probably is another. In all likely hoods we occupy a place close to an average. Now weather these universes occupy a place beyond the expantion horizon, parallel dimensions, or both who knows. I think it's extremely likely that this big bang is not the only one that has or will ever occurr. Infact quantum tunneling provides a mechanism by wihtch at any moment in any space another bb has a very tiny and that's an understatement chance of a bb happening again. Given enough and I mean a very very long enough time its number will come up again and a tremendously huge amount of virtual particles will tunnel to a single spot and boom it all starts again. What a show that would be.

Edited by Seeker79

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I suppose the math works out that way, but that other you and me are not you and me.

That depends on weather you believe in a soul or not. If you do?, then no, if you don't, and this other person contained your exact set of information... Then, yes it is. Because you are only the information carried with you.

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It has nothing to do with belief in a soul; something identical to me is not me, but a copy of me. You also have to believe pretty strongly in either predestination or determinism to think that it will do anything other than go off on its own and become something else very quickly, even though up to that point its life events have been the same as mine.

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It has nothing to do with belief in a soul; something identical to me is not me, but a copy of me. You also have to believe pretty strongly in either predestination or determinism to think that it will do anything other than go off on its own and become something else very quickly, even though up to that point its life events have been the same as mine.

Either way you have to believe in determinism, but under purely materialistic deterministic view point, there is no "you". ' You ' are simply a construct of information a copy of information is essentially the same thing. Information itself is not a thing it's the arrangements of the media.

Yes this other you could go out and do other things, but if the other things are finite then at least one which really means an infinite of you do exactly what you do, did, and will do. Unless those choices are also infinite, be even the. There are going to be sets and subsets, but forgive me my set theory has been far erroded from my college days.

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Yea -- in an infinite universe there is not a copy of me out there somewhere but instead an infinite number of copies, and at least an infinite subset of these infinite copies will do what I do, determinism or not. This even applies if there is an infinite set of things I could do (so long as that infinite set is a Dedekind infinity as the integers -- at other scales of infinity that breaks).

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I have a problem with infinity.

I consider that many other universes are probable, but an infinite number of them? Let us say there was no 'first' universe, that universes have always come into being and always will. So, looking back from our perspective we see what we would consider an infinite past.

But, considering there are universes continually being produced in the future, that infinite future has not happened yet. There will always be one more universe to be created,

So, taking all this multi-verse in one gulp, there will always be an infinite number of universes minus 1. This is a potential infinity, not yet realized.

What I think is true is that all these universes past and future already exist. There is reasoning behind this concept, which I won't go into now, but only in this sense can an infinity of universes exist.

Infinity is not a concept we can get our heads around, but in an infinity of real objects, this infinity must already be 'complete' to exist. When there is always one more object to be placed on the table there is no infinity of objects.

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There are lots of counterintuitive notions in modern thinking, and infinity is perhaps one of the less difficult.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, but I do see one big mistake -- you treat infinity as a number that one adds to and subtracts from. Infinity means endless, so it is not a number. If anything about the universe is infinite, then it is infinite, and you can add another similarly infinite universe to it and it has not gotten any "bigger."

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I have a problem with infinity.

I consider that many other universes are probable, but an infinite number of them? Let us say there was no 'first' universe, that universes have always come into being and always will. So, looking back from our perspective we see what we would consider an infinite past.

But, considering there are universes continually being produced in the future, that infinite future has not happened yet. There will always be one more universe to be created,

So, taking all this multi-verse in one gulp, there will always be an infinite number of universes minus 1. This is a potential infinity, not yet realized.

What I think is true is that all these universes past and future already exist. There is reasoning behind this concept, which I won't go into now, but only in this sense can an infinity of universes exist.

Infinity is not a concept we can get our heads around, but in an infinity of real objects, this infinity must already be 'complete' to exist. When there is always one more object to be placed on the table there is no infinity of objects.

Couldn't you say that about anything that's 'infinite'? It's possible it could go on forever but we'll never prove it ever? Nor will it ever reach 'infinity'?

Your idea intrigues me, say, do all these universes exist outside of time and space and what seems to be one universe's death leading to the creation of another isn't really that? Those two universes's technically, outside of themselves, exist at the same time, but when you go 'inside' one of these universes, you end up getting pulled along their timelines. Am I somewhat close to your idea?

Edited by Hasina

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I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, but I do see one big mistake -- you treat infinity as a number that one adds to and subtracts from. Infinity means endless, so it is not a number. If anything about the universe is infinite, then it is infinite, and you can add another similarly infinite universe to it and it has not gotten any "bigger."

My point of everything already existing is that, in an infinite universe, infinite time must have elapsed for this infinity to exist. Taking this into consideration, an infinite universe must already exist. If new universes are continually being created, time is also continually being created, so the universe cannot be infinite. This is Immanuel Kant's objection to the idea of infinite space.

Are we not considering an infinite 'number' of universes? Is there Infinity in the abstract? If infinity means 'endless', endless what? There can exist 'endlessness' without it being infinite. For instance, space may be finite but unbounded. In this case, the universe may appear to be endless, but it is not infinite. The surface of a sphere is like this.

Now, how many points can we mark on the surface of this sphere? Theoretically and infinite number. But if our 3-dimensional universe is an extension of the 2-dimensional sphere, there can only be a finite number of points - elementary particles, stars, galaxies - that can be placed on the 2- dimensional sphere's surface or within the 3-dimensional spacial volume.

So, in the above case, the universe would appear infinite but would always contain a finite number of universes.

I don't know if the universe is infinite or not or whether our 3-dimensional space is finite but unbounded - enfolded in a 4-dimensional hypersphere - or whatever. You are right that an infinity cannot be added to or subtracted from. But as new universes are constantly being added to a multi-verse, in this sense this kind of universe cannot be infinite. It can only be infinite if its infinity is already 'complete'. If all time and all space already exist as this infinity.

Thinking in this way, the past and the future already exist in the same way as the present exists. Everything has already happened. Our human perception as the past as memory and the future as as not yet realized is only an illusion created by the human mind.

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I have a problem with infinity.

I consider that many other universes are probable, but an infinite number of them? Let us say there was no 'first' universe, that universes have always come into being and always will. So, looking back from our perspective we see what we would consider an infinite past.

But, considering there are universes continually being produced in the future, that infinite future has not happened yet. There will always be one more universe to be created,

So, taking all this multi-verse in one gulp, there will always be an infinite number of universes minus 1. This is a potential infinity, not yet realized.

What I think is true is that all these universes past and future already exist. There is reasoning behind this concept, which I won't go into now, but only in this sense can an infinity of universes exist.

Infinity is not a concept we can get our heads around, but in an infinity of real objects, this infinity must already be 'complete' to exist. When there is always one more object to be placed on the table there is no infinity of objects.

A lot of that has to do with what kind of infinity we are talking about. Let's say this is the only universe and it happens that it performs a big crunch then a bang. Then we only have infinite time. If there are other big bangs going on beyond the horizon ( and I expect there are), now we have infinite time and space. If there are other universes separated by dimensional barriers. Then we get another dimension of potential infinity. I would think only in the last two secnerios you would be right. All possibilities would exist simultaneously. But that still does not mean that all physical arrangements can exist only possible ones. The possibility of a large solid gold planet is probably nil. There is nothing in physics stopping it from existing, but it's formation has no vector. In this way not everything physically possible is circumstantually possible. Unless some highly advanced race or being decided to make one for some unknown purpose I guess. However by virtue of our own awareness we know we are possible. In deterministic infinities with random components we are sure to exist in all states or have and will exist again.

In these musings, I find a solid argument for the possibility of god while at the same time I find a simple argument of why there may not be one. But cerainly advanced god like beings are certain to come about.

Edited by Seeker79
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Those two universes's technically, outside of themselves, exist at the same time, but when you go 'inside' one of these universes, you end up getting pulled along their timelines. Am I somewhat close to your idea?

Your idea is interesting. Does time sort of 'sweep' throughout the multi-verse, or does each universe contain its own timeline? I don't know, of course. Time may be a property that only exists within a universe, as that space only exists within that universe. 'Local time' may begin when that universe begins, and may not be coordinated with other universes that had their beginning 'before' or 'after' that universe came into being.

In this were true, I would agree with your supposition. Perhaps time is always local, as in frames of reference in our universe. Looking at the big picture, time may be meaningless considering the multi-verse as a whole. Space may be meaningless as well when we consider the whole shebang, because time and space cannot be separated.

Maybe this whole 'thing' is an infinity of abstractions, of localities of local 'realities' that in some sense, when taken as a whole, dissolve into a sort of existence that has no specific reality to it. Like a gigantic quantum probability having no 'real' substance to it.

Edited by StarMountainKid

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From what I understand of MWI, once the world splits by decoherence they are isolated. There are other "you"s but they are just as much the original as you are.

Not sure how much I believe of it.

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Just on one point, whether infinite time must have elapsed for an infinite universe to exist. Why? Remember that there is no "before" the beginning of time -- time, if it has a beginning, starts itself. Avoid thinking about some sort of super-time within which time happens.

My particular view is that there are many universes each with its own time-like dimension (or maybe not, but we would have trouble dealing with one without a time-like dimension and I am prone to think this may be a necessary condition of existence).

That aside, at the "beginning" of our universe, there is nothing, then there is everything. Whether that "everything" is itself infinite or some sort of unbounded finite entity we don't know, and it doesn't matter.

This is a virtual particle whose conserved aspects total zero, so there is no limit on how big it can be. Indeed, the bigger it is the longer it will last before it cancels itself out, and we would guess one that is infinite would last forever.

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