Researchers Claim Parallel Universes Interact with Each Other

Monday, 28 November 2016 - 5:20PM
Physics
Monday, 28 November 2016 - 5:20PM
Researchers Claim Parallel Universes Interact with Each Other
Parallel universes are generally understood as just that: parallel. By definition, they don't impact each other, because they never intersect. But according to new research, parallel universes may not be as parallel as we thought, as there are multiple timelines playing out in parallel universes that can have a tangible effect on one another.

Professor Howard Wiseman and Dr. Michael Hall from Griffith University's Center for Quantum Dynamics claim that the idea of parallel universes is more than just science fiction. The team's "Many Interacting Worlds Theory" explains how each universe branches into a multitude of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. The team's new theory proposes our universe is just one of many worlds - some of which are nearly identical to ours, and others of which are vastly different. 

Opening quote
"All possibilities are therefore realized - in some universes, the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed earth. In others, Australia was colonized by the Portuguese," explains Wiseman (via New York Post).
Closing quote


Wiseman points out that the parallel universe idea in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957, when it was famously first proposed by physicist Hugh Everett. But with the Many Interacting Worlds interpretation, Hall and Wiseman are expanding the concept by claiming that these worlds have the potential to influence each other. 

Hall and Wiseman add that all of the worlds are equally real and exist on the same timeline, and they all interact through a universal force of repulsion, essentially "bouncing" off of each other. An event happening in one world could trigger a reaction in another universe. They believe that these reactions provide the building blocks for finding these other worlds, and potentially using these connections between the worlds to travel through time.

Opening quote
Hall believes that "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."
Closing quote


Other physicists are divided on the theory. Some express skepticism, while others flat-out deny any possibility of the theory being true. But one physics and philosophy expert at University of Michigan, Charles Seben, says the theory provides a nice analysis of particular phenomena like quantum tunneling and ground-state energy.

Regardless, Dr. Hall is hopeful that pinpointing the places where these universes could overlap will help advance quantum physics. "In providing a new mental picture of quantum effects, it will be useful in planning experiments to test and exploit quantum phenomena," he says. 

Hopefully, it will be useful in the future of time travel as well.
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