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We as human being have not even begun to completely explore our own solar system and only know by proxy anything about our galaxy and the galaxies surrounding it. However, cosmologist suggest even more is out there. Even more than the vast universe we know of, some scientist believe there may be more universes out there.
For the average person this is a mind blowing concept. When we live in a universe where it would take around 16,000 generations just to reach the next star, it seems inconceivable for an entire universe other than our own to exist. It also seems a stretch of science when we consider that the main theory of the big bang. We know that the theory states that all matter and energy in our current universe was concentrated in a single point until an event triggered a massive explosion that spawned the stars and galaxies that would form our universe. However, if this is true why would there be the possibility for the existence of several universes when the current theory seems to only explain the creation of one universe?
Some of the answers lies in quantum physics. The discoveries of scientist over the last century demonstrated the massive amount of energy that is stored at the atomic level. This is because of the unusually strong forces that hold subatomic particles of like charges together. When these bonds are broken or altered such as happens in nuclear fission a great deal of energy is released. This is what some cosmologist believed started the big bang at the subatomic level. There was a fluctuation in the quantum energy field that created the Big Bang. This would create a situations where several Big Bangs would occur creating new universes with each occurrence.
Another theory provide by quantum physics is alternate dimensions and parallel universes. According to quantum theory some particles can exist simultaneously in two different spaces. This assumption can be extrapolate to parallel universes existing side by side but not directly interacting. If you read comics you have probably heard of the idea of traveling from one universe to another but for the moment that is as much out reach as traveling beyond our solar system.
One things that may happen is that scientist will improve the astronomical tools they use to observe the universe to the point that we may be able to detect other universes. One benefit from doing so is that by comparing these other universes to our own we would get a better understanding of what makes our universe work.
If you enjoyed this article there are several others on Universe today that you would enjoy. There is a great article on the likelihood of there being only one universe. There is also a great article on a method to test string theory. Here’s an article on the theory that there could be 10 dimensions.
You can also check out other interesting articles and resources online. There is a great article about parallel universes on the BBC web site. There is also an article in the New Scientist online that defends the existence of parallel universes.
Astronomy Cast is an interesting podcast that has interesting episodes you will like. Episode 166 talks specifically about Multiverses.