For long the idea of a Multiverse has intrigued sci-fi fans of the Star Trek or Marvel Cinematic Universe looking for evidence to satisfy their whims about what’s beyond the observable Universe.
- Astronomers say more than 95 percent of the Universe comprises Dark Energy and Dark Matter with less than 5 percent of normal matter which could be the reason for the ever-expanding Universe.
- Prominent theories like Cosmic Inflation and Bubble Universe theory back the Multiverse Hypothesis.
- The presumed “Theory of Everything” – String Theory gives rise to the possibilities of Higher Dimensions.
Humans have been intrigued by the mysteries of space and the universe for centuries. Even after years of researches, studies, and expeditions, we could barely scratch the surface of what the real universe is. The fascination with the extragalactic world has given birth to several popular sci-fi movies, books, and shows. While watching movies like the Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel or DC films, we often wonder what if these alien worlds were real? What if the concept of Multiverse wasn’t only a “thing” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe but a reality? As we went on to the quest of the Universe to find these answers, the possibilities of the existence of the Multiverse (more than one universe) were unavoidable more than ever.
When we think about the concept of Multiverse, the possibility of an extra-Universe world comes to our minds almost inevitably. Now that scientists have come to know about our Universe expanding at an astonishing rate, the greed to learn more about the great beyond has also increased even more. What does “the great beyond” imply? Does our Universe have an edge? A point where you would drop-off?
According to scientists, there is nothing such as a drop-off zone or an edge of our Universe.
But that’s where it gets tricky.
What is the Universe?
Before we try to learn what lies beyond, it is important to know what remains within. So, what is the Universe? Is everything that exists in space and time a part of the Universe? If the answer is yes, then Universe has to be singular and there exists no beyond. So, imagining it to be of finite size, everything existing beyond that point will easily be considered extra-Universal. But how do we determine the size of such a vast entity?
The formless, shapeless, void of this Universe is a complete mystery to us. 68 percent of this Universe consists of the mysterious dark energy that is still unknown to our scientists. The observable part of the Universe is almost insignificant to the size of the cosmos. Considering the speed of light, we can easily conclude that it is rather impossible to receive light from all parts of the Universe. Beyond our observable boundary of 93 billion light-years, there is a world of gazillion stars and galaxies waiting to be discovered, covered in clouds of mystery and the unknown.
Knowing the Unknown
To reach the edge of the observable patch of the 13.8 billion old Universe, we will have to cover a distance of 93 billion light-years approximately. This gives us the idea that even if we can travel at the speed of light, which is still a long-distance dream, we can only cover so much.
According to astronomers, the expanse outside the observable boundary might be similar to what we see around us. In this vast expanse, spread to the infinity and beyond, there can be more planets, stars, and also other forms of materials that are yet to be seen or heard by the dwellers of this blue planet.
Watch: Could we be living in a Multiverse?
The Idea of the Multiverse
Multiverse is a hypothetical concept where multiple universes coexist together following the laws of physics including the entity of time, space, matter, energy, physical laws, and information. There are several theories regarding the idea of the multiverse leading to the idea of many plausible universes.
The most well-established idea of a multiverse of ever-expanding space-time is established on the idea of cosmological inflation. This theory explains a hypothetical inflation process of the initial universe where the space-time would have proliferated at a much higher speed than today’s Universe.
Another popular theory about the existence of the Multiverse is the Bubble Universe and Baby Universe theory. According to the theory of General Relativity, space can grow explosively if triggered by an energy field of the apt variety. Researchers think that if an explosion takes place at one part of the universe, there will be a chance of it happening somewhere else as well. This will, for obvious reason, create an infinite number of Bubble Universes. The chances of accessing one of these universes are very slim, given that they would have moved away from us, far beyond the limit of our reach.
Scientists also believe in the existence of other dimensions that are beyond the comprehension abilities of our three-dimensional minds. This theory of some other, unseen dimension initiates the theory of another hypothetical Multiverse known as the Higher Dimension. Even though the concept of this Higher Dimension seems a bit unrealistic, it is an important part of the String theory. Even if the concept of higher dimensions is true, we can’t travel through it. As the theory goes, the particles of matter and light struck in the three-dimensional space around us are preventing us from noticing the extra dimension.
According to another theory, the chances of a Parallel Universe or Mirror Universe are believed by some of the experts. In this theory inspired by the theory of probability, scientists assume that in an infinite number of combinations made of a finite number of elements, the chances of the same combination appearing more than once is always possible. This will lead to having a Universe completely identical to ours, having the same characteristics and features with minor to no change at all. Isn’t that interesting?
Another theory originated in 2008 when a group of astronomers discovered various galactic clusters streaming in the same direction at a speed of more than 2 million miles per hour. This theory was named the Dark Flow theory. The possible cause for this phenomenon was assumed to be an extra-universal gravitational influence, originated from somewhere outside our observable universe. Though scientists still aren’t sure about the nature of these objects, this was considered to be an important influence to continue the study.
Exploring the Infinite
To search what lies outside the Universe is a difficult mission. But as the human race goes, we surely know how to chase our dreams, no matter how hard it is. Scientists have been working tirelessly for years to solve the mysteries of this vast Universe.
Whether the Universe is infinite in space is still a debatable topic. There are possibilities, that our known 3D universe might have only wrapped itself around other higher dimensions in the same way, as a two-dimensional surface of an object wraps itself around other three-dimensional objects.
To learn more about the beyond might take us years or maybe even decades. Whenever that is, we will surely be waiting to be surprised by the wonderful mysteries that the cosmos holds for us.