Physicists have long argued that parallel universes are a theoretical possibility. These scholars have argued that there could actually be an infinite number of universes that are similar to our own but contain slight differences. Although many have believed in these universes in theory, there’s never been any hard proof of their existence. That may have changed.
The idea of a multiverse was first developed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1952. In his thought experiment, he proposed an idea of a cat in a box with a flask of poison.
When the box is closed, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. We can’t know, so both realities exist in this universe.
When we open the box, we alter our universe by definitively stating whether the cat is alive or not. A recent discovery in our universe is giving credence to this theory that there are universes where the cat is alive and universes where the cat is dead, all existing at once.
Researchers at Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society have made a discovery that they say could be a sign that our universe is just one reality in a string of infinite realities. If this is true, the ramifications would obviously be profound.
What these researchers found is a “cold spot” that is a massive space totaling 1.8 billion light years across and is 0.00015 degrees Celsius (0.00027 degrees Fahrenheit) colder than its surroundings. This temperature differential may be the sign of our universe colliding with another.
Astronomers are interested in this spot because they have no explanation for why it exists or why it is a different temperature. The size is unfathomable; it would take light 1.8 billion years to travel across it, and scientists say that it’s highly unlikely it was created at the same time as our universe.
This is causing physicists to scramble to try to come up with an explanation. One such explanation could be that this is simply an optical illusion produced by a lack of intervening galaxies. If it’s not an illusion, then they’ll need to entertain some theories that are a bit more esoteric.
One theory, put forward by Professor Tom Shanks, is that the cold spot was caused by our universe colliding with another bubble universe. The collision would cause the cold spot by altering the physical properties of our universe.
If the multiverse theory is true, it means there are an infinite number of universes out there with an infinite number of realities. Think back to a huge decision you have made in your life. If there are multiple universes, there’s a universe where you made the opposite decision from the one in this universe. That universe then spins off its own universes, and on and on into infinity.
This information would also have major implications for the field of physics. Since the goal of physics is the understand the physical nature of the universe, having alternate universes may call into doubt whether that’s even possible.
More research needs to be done to determine what exactly is the cause of this cold spot. But if the multiverse theory is proven correct, it will forever change how we view the nature of our existence.