6 Scientific Ideas That Suggest Parallel Universes Exist

By on January 23, 2016 // Parallel Universes, Science // 3 Comments

Image: Flickr/ *nacnud* via CC by 2.0
Image: Flickr/ *nacnud* via CC by 2.0

Recently, two new scientific models have appeared, both suggesting that parallel universes may be a reality. In one, researchers propose that the initial conditions of the Big Bang resulted in what they call a “Janus point,” in which particles expanded outward “in two different temporal directions.”

In another similar model, yet to be published, physicists propose a “more simplified” version that also points toward the existence of a mirror universe, one where time, from our perspective, would flow backwards. They refer to their model as the “two-headed arrow of time.”

These models, however, are not alone. There are other studies, ideas and proposed models (not to mention clues) that indicate we may actually exist in only one of many parallel universes. Here are four more of them.

Disclaimer: Some of these ideas may be wrong, and some of the older ones may very well have already been discarded. I’m simply sharing them here to highlight a handful of science’s current discussions on the possibility of other worlds.

2007 – Are some black holes “portals” into other worlds?

Physicists in 2007 proposed that many objects in space that appear to be black holes may actually be wormholes. And while the common idea of a wormhole is generally a kind of shortcut through spacetime (like a hole in a folded up sheet of paper), they could also be gateways into other universes.

In a 2007 article titled Could black holes be portals to other universes, New Scientist highlighted research proposing that some black holes may actually be wormholes. If so, and if we could survive such a journey, we could possibly venture into these wormholes and travel into “another universe on the other side.”

However, even traveling into a typical black hole could, given what little we truly know about black holes, lead you on a journey into a parallel universe. At a conference last year, Stephen Hawking raised this very possibility.

2007 – Time travel “shifts between different branches of reality”

It’s interesting to me that the article I just referenced by New Scientist also mentions the potential creation of microscopic black holes at future particle accelerators. This echoes an element of the John Titor story – his time machine functioned with the use of two microsingularities that allowed him to travel through time.

But it wasn’t just time, not entirely. He also claimed to have traveled through multiple worldlines – that is, multiple universes. This idea, while controversial, does have some support in the scientific community.

“Dr [David] Deutsch showed mathematically that the bush-like branching structure created by the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes.” – Parallel universe proof boosts time travel hopes, The Telegraph

According to physicist David Deutsch, the existence of many worlds would allow us to “sidestep” the pesky notions of time travel paradoxes and other issues.

2011 – Our universe exists inside a bubble

Does our universe exist inside of a bubble, one of many? In 2011, two research papers detailed the search for “signatures of other universes” in the form of “bubble collisions.”

“Many modern theories of fundamental physics predict that our universe is contained inside a bubble. In addition to our bubble, this `multiverse’ will contain others, each of which can be thought of as containing a universe. In the other ‘pocket universes’ the fundamental constants, and even the basic laws of nature, might be different.” – Is our universe inside a bubble? First observational test of the ‘multiverse’, Science Daily

Cosmologists looked for certain patterns in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation that could indicate “collision imprints” in our universe from these other hypothetical “bubble universes.” For a more recent look at these possible bubble collisions, here’s another short article from last year.

2014 – Many Interacting Worlds

Finally, in 2014, scientists put forward another idea suggesting that not only do parallel universes exist, they also interact with one another. In this case, the strange quantum effects that we observe, they say, are the result of a “universal force of repulsion” between our universe and other nearby universes.

They call this model Many Interacting Worlds. You can read more about that one here.

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.

  • Danielle

    I had a parallel universe dream last night. In my dream, i was hiding from something and wound up in a parallel universe. it was basically like the life i have now, i worked at the same place, i knew the same people…but then, this girl came to me. The authority within the parallel world was looking for her. I helped her change her name, gave her one of my work uniforms and helped her blend in. The strangest part that gets me every time whenever i have these types of dreams is what then happened next. I don’t know if it’s because my brain knows it’s waking up, but i said to the girl and a guy that i was leaving the world because what i’m hiding from is gone, but i will try to bend time and space to visit and try to find their counterparts in the world i’m from.

    It was strange. I have many more similar dreams. My friend came up with a theory in which I might be a time traveler and when i dream, its basically my time machine, i could go to different universes or times whenever i dream.

    • Rob

      Thanks for sharing your dream experiences, Danielle (here and on the other post)! Very interesting stuff.

      When you mention the point where your brain might “know it’s waking up” — I get that a lot in my dreams. Either the “story” begins to wrap up or strange inconsistencies in the dream appear to the point where it all sort of falls apart. Sometimes, other people in my dreams are aware of this happening, as well.

      I always like to leave open the possibility that dreams are something more than just dreams. Who knows?

  • TitorTales

    Reading about this discussion, I also want to share an experience regarding dreaming.
    It usually happens right before I wake up.
    I always set my alarm early because of my tendency to extend my sleep whenever I wake up. My habit involves setting my alarm for 5:00 but actually rising up at 5:30. Because I usually had a hard time getting out of bed that’s why I set up multiple alarms.
    Well the thing is, whenever I go back to sleep for this last remaining minutes, I usually have a dream that seems so real. One particular dream is that I actually overslept and then I panicked that I couldn’t get to work on time.
    The feeling of fear of being late was so real and I ran outside my room to take a bath. But the unusual thing that I could distinguish this as just a dream is because of the presence of something that we don’t usually have. In this dream, there’s a cat that’s trying to enter through our window and that I tried to shoo it away.
    The strange part here is that no cat can actually even try to enter our window because it’s made of glass. But in my dream, our window is just made up of jalousie.

    And I usually woke up feeling relieved.
    Actually, what happens in my dream during those few minutes were not even extraordinary that’s why it always feel so real to me.
    Or if the parallel world is true, maybe that’s what happens to the other me in the other side of the world?
    Who knows,