Science & Technology
Parallel universes are real, claim scientists
By T.K. Randall
November 28, 2016 · 231 comments
How many alternate versions of you exist in parallel universes ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Kuroiniisan
The 'many interacting worlds' theory ties quantum physics to the idea of countless parallel universes.
The idea that we live in one of a practically limitless number of near-identical worlds is nothing new, having been proposed previously many times by physicists including Hugh Everett, who in 1957 put forward his 'many-worlds interpretation' of quantum mechanics.
Everett's theory suggested that there exists a potentially infinite number of parallel universes in which every possible permutation of history is played out.
In one universe for instance you may have died in a car accident last month, while in another you might have even become the President of the United States. Every conceivable outcome has happened in at least one of these universes - each version of history has played out somewhere.
One aspect of Everett's theory however, which suggests that none of these universes influence our own universe, has long drawn criticism because it makes the whole concept impossible to test out.
Now though, a team of physicists from Griffith University's Center for Quantum Dynamics and the University of California have come up with a new version - the 'many interacting worlds' theory.
This revised version of the theory echoes Everett's idea of potentially infinite parallel universes but differs in that it proposes that similar parallel worlds may experience a universal repulsive force which is how all quantum phenomena arise.
The new theory means that it may not only be possible to test for parallel universes, but that one day it may even be possible to view or interact with these alternative worlds as well.
"The beauty of our approach is that if there is just one world our theory reduces to Newtonian mechanics, while if there is a gigantic number of worlds it reproduces quantum mechanics," said Griffith University's Dr. Michael Hall.
"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."
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