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Maciamo
07-03-05, 19:12
BBC Science & Nature : Parallel Universes (http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2001/paralleluni.shtml)


Everything you're about to read here seems impossible and insane, beyond science fiction. Yet it's all true.

Scientists now believe there may really be a parallel universe - in fact, there may be an infinite number of parallel universes, and we just happen to live in one of them. These other universes contain space, time and strange forms of exotic matter. Some of them may even contain you, in a slightly different form. Astonishingly, scientists believe that these parallel universes exist less than one millimetre away from us. In fact, our gravity is just a weak signal leaking out of another universe into ours.


Was that posted on Fool's Day ? They don't even provide a satisfying explanation.


For years parallel universes were a staple of the Twilight Zone. Science fiction writers loved to speculate on the possible other universes which might exist. In one, they said, Elvis Presley might still be alive or in another the British Empire might still be going strong. Serious scientists dismissed all this speculation as absurd. But now it seems the speculation wasn't absurd enough. Parallel universes really do exist and they are much stranger than even the science fiction writers dared to imagine.

I agree with that, but I do not call them parallel universes and do not believe that they are 1mm from us or superimposed in any way. As I believe in an infinite universe, the chances of anything happening again exactly the same way, or in an infinity a shade of nuances is forcedly infinite.


It all started when superstring theory, hyperspace and dark matter made physicists realise that the three dimensions we thought described the Universe weren't enough. There are actually 11 dimensions. By the time they had finished they'd come to the conclusion that our Universe is just one bubble among an infinite number of membranous bubbles which ripple as they wobble through the eleventh dimension.

11 dimensions ? What's that again ?


Now imagine what might happen if two such bubble universes touched. Neil Turok from Cambridge, Burt Ovrut from the University of Pennsylvania and Paul Steinhardt from Princeton believe that has happened. The result? A very big bang indeed and a new universe was born - our Universe. The idea has shocked the scientific community; it turns the conventional Big Bang theory on its head. It may well be that the Big Bang wasn't really the beginning of everything after all. Time and space all existed before it. In fact Big Bangs may happen all the time.

Here comes the Big Bang again. Now it's clearly not the beginning of the universe, but just the merger of 2 parallel universes. They really have a overflowing imagination. :okashii:

And that's a Japanese that came with that idea. Read too many manga I guess.

Mycernius
07-03-05, 20:21
Multiverse theory. My brother subscribes to this theory. It goes along the lines that all pasts, presents and future exist in a single point. To be able to travel over the parallel universes just requires a shift sideways. Sideways being the best term for this, as we are only four dimensional beings an other dimension is beyond our capacity to see. Parallel universe has been used to explain why Photons act like waves. It is the interaction of another photon from a parallel universe that gives the feeling of waves not particles.
I don't really subscribe to the multiverse theory, in that evrything is, has, will happen at one point. I do, however belive in parallel universes. If you belive in time travel, which is theoretically possible under Einsteinian Physics, then the past you end up in is a different universe to the one you started in.

bossel
07-03-05, 22:53
Was that posted on Fool's Day ? They don't even provide a satisfying explanation.
Why so negative about it?


Here comes the Big Bang again. Now it's clearly not the beginning of the universe, but just the merger of 2 parallel universes. They really have a overflowing imagination. :okashii:
What's with the Big Bang? It's still a (number of) valid theories.


And that's a Japanese that came with that idea. Read too many manga I guess.
Not just one Japanese, there are quite a number of physicists proposing a multiverse. The details may vary, though. If you follow the links in the article you will find more info.

From the Multiverse FAQ:
"Although this idea of so-called branes (three-dimensional universes that are quite literally parallel to ours, a short distance away in another dimensions) is indeed taken seriously by the scientific community, I don't feel that it's quite fair to call them "parallel universes". The reason is that we can interact with them via gravity. For instance, if a star on a parallel brane would pass through our solar system, it would disrupt the orbit of our planet in a very noticeable way. For this reason, most people believe that the physics on such parallel branes (if they exist) is sufficiently different from the physics here that stuff like stars, planets and people eating dinner can't exist there."

Duo
08-03-05, 02:50
This sounds a bit like that movie THE ONE

@ topic

This kind of thing always fascinated me. The Universe and what not, but it's true that some theories sound insane, but how can we know really ? People some time ago thought the earth was flat and well, we all know the typical cliches, so I don't like to rule out anything yet. If there was a multiverse, I would be very interested in seeing myself in the other parallel dimensions, but ultimately, wouldn't one still be the same ? I mean if it had to be the same you in the other dimesions, your genetic composition would still be the same. True maybe the environment would be different, and could shape you into other ways, but ultimately the most important factor, genes would be the same and wouldn't that lead to a very similar growth to the person of you now, in this dimension, well I guess we could argue behaviorism shapes a person differently but hmmm....makes me wonder, I wish I could see it :p

Maciamo
08-03-05, 04:00
Why so negative about it?

By definition, the universe is "all existing matter and space considered as a whole" (Oxford dictionary). Consequently, there cannot be more than one universe by definition. If those scientists want to say that there are other dimensions, or parallel galaxies, or find a new name to it (as it is a new concept) that's fine, but I will NEVER accept the "universes", as all of those would be THE universe, regardless of how many dimensions it has (even the "uni" in "universe" means "only one", and the gramatical use of "the" and the fact that it is "uncountable" indicates that there is only one).



What's with the Big Bang? It's still a (number of) valid theories.

It has been proven (by some scientists) that there were more than one big bang, as some galaxies evolved in opposite/perpendicular directions to the direction of the big bang. Other scientists have also estimated that some stars were older than the big bang itself (calculated on the distance from the original point). This article here says that there could be many big bangs every time 2 parallel "entities" collapse. Anyway, the Big Bang theory as the beginning of the universe doesnot make sense, as it would presuppose that the universe has a start and is not infinite in time (and therefore also has an end). How could there be a start to reality or existence ? It's impossible, whatever theist believe. My point is that even if something (god?) created the cosmos in which we are, this god would have to be somewhere to exist (inside or outside that cosmos doesn't matter). But by definition, it must be part of the universe to exist. Which means the universe is always bigger (or equal) than anything else, even god. If there was such a thing as a creator or our system of galaxies, it means that this system of galaxies is only a part of the whole universe (=reality), and the big bang cannot be the beginning of this whole universe. At best I could logically accept that a big bang started our "system of galaxies", but it is by no means the same as "the universe".



From the Multiverse FAQ:
"Although this idea of so-called branes (three-dimensional universes that are quite literally parallel to ours, a short distance away in another dimensions) is indeed taken seriously by the scientific community, I don't feel that it's quite fair to call them "parallel universes". The reason is that we can interact with them via gravity. For instance, if a star on a parallel brane would pass through our solar system, it would disrupt the orbit of our planet in a very noticeable way. For this reason, most people believe that the physics on such parallel branes (if they exist) is sufficiently different from the physics here that stuff like stars, planets and people eating dinner can't exist there."

These people are untrustworthy and only try to attract some attention on themselves. As I explained above, there are necessarily wrong to use such terms as "universes". If they can't even use adequate terms (entity, microcosm...), then how could we even trust their judgement ? As I said before, most scientists lack a proper philosophical education and approach. They know how to calculate, but they don't have any idea regarding philosophical logics, epistemology or the history of metaphysics (and apparently also their mother tongue, as they talk about "universes", except is the mistake is from the BBC reporter, but I doubt so).

All in all, this "multiverse" theory is the same as saying that there is only one universe, made up of different dimensions and/or microcosms. But this is not even necessary to have an infinite number of possibilities; eg. an infinite number of other distant planets exactly similar to our Earth, an infinity only slightly different in an infinite number of ways, an infinity identical but happening with a time difference, etc. - not to mention all the completely different and inimaginable worlds. This is all possible thanks to infinity. Why bother to call it multiverse ? There doesn't even need to me more than 3 dimensions (4 with time if you wish).

lexico
08-03-05, 04:35
@ topic article:
I basically mistrust mathematical constructs if there is no direct phenomenon that necessitates that type of theorizing.

Mathematics is basically okay as long as there is no internal contradiction, which means one can make anything one needs as long as it does not conflict with other mathematical results derived from the same set of axioms and definitions. When somebody talks about the 4th dimension, or the 5th, 6th, th 7th, etc., that itself really doesn't mean much. For example in industrial planning, one can easily employ 40 independent variables in a 40 dimentional model to simulate industrial networks. That has perfect grounds because each variable is representative.

But when physicists build up artificial mathematical constructs up to the 11th dimension in their struggle to unify the 4 forces of nature (electromagnetism, gravity, strong interaction, weak interaction), that itself is more than enough to raise eyebrows. What is the physical meaning or what is represented by each of the 11 independent variables ? It is far too artificial to be considered genuine, and there is more than one way to do that.

Forcing theory to fit certain phenomenon or ideas has rarely worked in the history of science. I would say it's a real long shot if they ever get soild experimental support for their 11 dimensional model, but even if they do, they'll still have a hard time explaining their model in scientific notions; not in the fabulous version on the BBS report or the Q & A page where they sounded more like fairy tales than genuine science. So I hope they stop patronizing the audience; it only does a poor job of covering up their greater ignorance. :p

bossel
08-03-05, 14:47
By definition, the universe is "all existing matter and space considered as a whole" (Oxford dictionary). Consequently, there cannot be more than one universe by definition.
I see. Then your problem is more rhetorical or philosophical than scientific. Mind you, definitions of words vary & what's more, change over time. For "universe" you can also find varying definitions:

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
1 [S] everything that exists, especially all physical matter, including all the stars, planets, galaxies, etc. in space:
Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?
2 [C] a universe which could be imagined to exist outside our own:
Scientists have speculated about the possibility of parallel universes.
3 [S] the world, or the world that you are familiar with:
The characters in his novels inhabit a bleak and hopeless universe.

Merriam-Webster:
1 : the whole body of things and phenomena observed or postulated : COSMOS: as a : a systematic whole held to arise by and persist through the direct intervention of divine power b : the world of human experience c (1) : the entire celestial cosmos (2) : MILKY WAY GALAXY (3) : an aggregate of stars comparable to the Milky Way galaxy
2 : a distinct field or province of thought or reality that forms a closed system or self-inclusive and independent organization
[...]

As you can see by the Cambridge entry, it also doesn't seem to be wrong to talk of universes. Universe as a term was chosen because people at the time believed existence to be like they saw it. Turned out to be wrong (well, probably). Why blame current scientists for the mistakes of past generations?
They could of course re-arrange definitions & invent new words for old concepts, while using the old word for a new concept. But since that would confuse the wider public even more, I think, it's OK to use the old terminology according to the old definition & find new terms (eg. multiverse) for new concepts.



It has been proven (by some scientists) that there were more than one big bang, as some galaxies evolved in opposite/perpendicular directions to the direction of the big bang.
Could you please point me in the direction of that proof?
Big Bang theory is just that, a theory. The details are still under discussion, but generally I haven't seen many scientific opinions which deny the origin of our universe from a gravitational singularity (Big Bang).



the Big Bang theory as the beginning of the universe doesnot make sense, as it would presuppose that the universe has a start and is not infinite in time (and therefore also has an end). How could there be a start to reality or existence ?
Again you make a largely philosophical point. Why should science care about philosophy? Science should concentrate on science, not how some philosophers have problems to apply their personal logic to scientific findings.


These people are untrustworthy and only try to attract some attention on themselves.
How do you know? I don't think, any of us here has the necessary background in physics to disprove their findings.


If they can't even use adequate terms (entity, microcosm...), then how could we even trust their judgement ? As I said before, most scientists lack a proper philosophical education and approach.
Adequacy of terminology is a matter of convention. If in physics these terms are used as they are, I don't see the problem. Neither do I see the necessity of philosophical education before you become a physicist.

Silverbackman
10-03-05, 02:08
In order for time travel, it would seem that there has to be parallel universes. If any of you are familiar with the Grandfather paradox you would know this paradox does support infinite universes branching in to different other universes like a tree.

For anyone not familiar with the Grandfather paradox, I'll explain it. Say you were to go back in time and kill your grandfather before he had your mother or father. Would you disappear because without your grandfather your parents don't exist therefore you were never born? However if there are multiple universes then it would make no difference whether you killed your grandfather or not and you would not disappear. Instead you will live on into this alternative reality where you were never born. The real question is, would you be able to get back to your timeline if this happened?

If there are other universes, there is a timeline where the confederates won the civil war, Axis wins WWII, or even a universe where there is no North or South Korea, but only one Korea united. In some other universe the United States and Soviet Union are at war. With other universes the possibilities are endless.

Maciamo
10-03-05, 03:32
Say you were to go back in time and kill your grandfather before he had your mother or father. Would you disappear because without your grandfather your parents don't exist therefore you were never born? However if there are multiple universes then it would make no difference whether you killed your grandfather or not and you would not disappear. Instead you will live on into this alternative reality where you were never born.


This is a false question. This case just involves going to another place in the universe (call it other galaxy, world, dimension, microcosm, branch or whatever) to find a "parallel world" (not universe, which comprises all the "worlds") exactly like ours, but in the past (or future). An infinite universe gives an infinite number of possibilities for such worlds. So everything you can imagine exists somewhere at any given time. This has nothing to do with travelling in time, but in space. At best, the problem is how to reach these "parallel worlds" in our short lifetime, as it would require travelling at extremely high speed to cover the distance. I think this is "technically" unachievable for human beings. But I agree in theory. It is perfectly logical as long as the uinverse is infinite.

lexico
10-03-05, 04:29
I think this is "technically" unachievable for human beings. But I agree in theory. It is perfectly logical as long as the uinverse is infinite.Quite illogical if the universe is closed. Logic is nothing without certainty of the verity of each assumptions taken. In an open infinite world, what you say could make sense, but still it's only an unexamined possiblity.
Even if one could be transported to a nearly parallel universe and met one's universal twin, identity is never to be expected; do biological twins share one identity ? One mind ? I can see science fiction swaying clear thinking is dangerous; Plato was warning exactly this when he called for banishing all poets from the Republic.

Maciamo
10-03-05, 04:46
Quite illogical if the universe is closed. Logic is nothing without certainty of the verity of each assumptions taken. In an open infinite world, what you say could make sense, but still it's only an unexamined possiblity.

The point is "you don't know more than me whether the universe is finite or infinite". I am just talking about a theoretical assumption here. I didn't claim it was true, but that it was a possibility, and the most logical reality if the universe is indeed infinite.


Even if one can be transported to nearly parallel universe, identity is never to be expected; do biological twins share one identity ? One mind ? I can see science fiction swaying clear thinking is dangerous; Plato was warning exactly this when he called for banishing all poets from the Republic.

Oh yes, with infinite possibilities, there will always be an infinite numbers of identical people or world, and others very different like identical twins in our earth. If the universe is finite though, there is almost no chance of finding an identical being, no matter how big the universe is.

I have now clearly stated my thoughts on both possibilities of an infinite and finite universe. Both are logical. Which one to believe in is a matter of personal choice, not something to be proven by logic. My preference goes for the infinite version, because I would be utterly disappointed if the universe was closed, finite, limited, and thus that not everything we can imagine exist somewhere outside our mind.

lexico
10-03-05, 05:24
Oh yes, with infinite possibilities, there will always be an infinite numbers of identical people or world, and others very different like identical twins in our earth. If the universe is finite though, there is almost no chance of finding an identical being, no matter how big the universe is.As for the idea of "identity" I mean true identity. Having the same genetic, physical, chemical, atomic composition, experience, thoughts, actions, results has little to do with true identity. They will still be two different persons with different free will. Physical parallelism hardly proves true identity at the personal level.
My preference goes for the infinite version, because I would be utterly disappointed if the universe was closed, finite, limited, and thus that not everything we can imagine exist somewhere outside our mind. I appreciate your sharing your personal thoughts. This is very rewarding talk. As for me, I'm a skeptic of all ideas, so you know where I'm coming from, being experimental. :-)